Review: Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey

Paris is in the last years of the 1890s, and its art world is as encompassing, as passionate as ever. Amid the vivacity of Montmartre’s colorful cabarets and uninhibited creative types lurks an evil far worse than the seedy goings-on of the wild neighborhood. Detective Michel Devaux finds his rock-steady nerve put to the test when a string of child abductions is unraveled, and as he grapples with the worst realities of the kidnappings Michel must pursue every avenue of possibility to stop the train of events from consuming yet more innocent lives. Enter Theodora Faraday, a spirited American girl in France, who is adapting to the exciting and intriguing world around her as a passionate artist, a painter. Theo has a connection to the missing children, as does Averill, the cousin she secretly loves, and his enigmatic band of friends that make up The Revenants, a local group of artists and poets caught in a web of darkness, intent on pursuing its depth. Theo and Michel soon find their paths entwined, and despite their contrasting personalities they must work together – one with the perceptibility of the law, one with the willfulness of personal determination – to find the madman. They soon discover that their viciously demented villain believes himself to be Gilles de Rais reincarnate; a medieval serial killer notorious in France, and a man at the base of fascination for many of Theo’s beloved Revenants.

Weaving faultlessly through the streets of Paris under a cloud of heaviest darkness, Floats the Dark Shadow puts forth a daring, utterly unforgettable story of the fight between determined good and the most abhorrent evil. With an almost Dickensian theatricality that brings the world of 1890s Paris to astonishing life, author Yves Fey plunges fearlessly into the depth of her story, unveiling the heart of many memorable characters and evoking a suspense-filled experience that readers will find impossible to break away from. Her ability to capture the truly malevolent crimes and the depth of Gilles de Rais’ evil is at once mesmerizing and a little difficult to stomach. This is the sort of novel that makes you catch your breath before snatching it away. The light in an otherwise dark story lies in the hero and heroine, Michel and Theo. Despite their headstrong differences, the two have a chemistry that sparks off the page and makes their interactions one of the highlights of the novel. Separately they shine, Michel with his dark past and Theo with her dark present. Each is a brilliant depiction of the strength and determination of the human spirit, as well as the struggle for personal fulfillment in an ever-changing world. The villainous Gilles de Rais was truly chilling; a depiction of evil so palpable that the novel would take on remarkable heaviness if not for the spirit of its heroic characters.

Fey’s meticulous research and vivacious ingenuity combine to create a world steeped in history but brimming with the vastness of fiction; Paris in the iconic age of Oscar Wilde is turned upside down, shaken and revealed in all its earthy, artistic glory. With the most vivid of settings as a moody backdrop for the novel’s excursion, and with characters both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, Floats the Dark Shadow was one of the most exciting novels I’ve read this year. I'm excited to see Michael and Theo's story evolve in the continuation of Fey's captivating series.

Title: Floats the Dark Shadow Author: Yves Fey Genre: Mystery, historical Publisher: BearCat Press Format: paperback Release date: August 31, 2012 Source: Yves Fey (C/O) Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Better World Books Connect with the author: Website | Blog | Goodreads | Twitter

Floats The Dark Shadow