I just finished reading Yves Fey’s historical mystery, Floats the Dark Shadow. Below is my review, a version of which I posted on both Amazon and Goodreads…
Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars (see below)
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Paris twice in the last few years. Reading Yves Fey’s Floats the Dark Shadow made me feel as if I were visiting it a third time. Fey has a flair for description, painting such Parisian locales as Montmarte, Notre Dame, and the Paris Catacombs in such a way as to transport the reader.
Someone is stealing children from the Parisian streets. Most vanish entirely. Those few that are found are brutally mutilated. Are such horrifying acts the work of a lone killer? A Satanic cult? A demon from centuries past? Amid anarchist bombings and threats on his life, Inspecteur Michel Devaux struggles to learn the identity of the killer before another child is taken. The collection of Parisian artists known as The Revenants seem to be at the center of it all, and at their center is the American Theodora (“Theo”) Faraday. The book follows both Michel and Theo on their separate searches for the truth, often putting them at odds as Michael tries to prove guilty those Theo believes–or hopes–to be innocent.
I should say that Floats the Dark Shadow is not quite the genre I usually read, but I did enjoy it, and my 4-star rating is based on my belief that readers of historical fiction will find it well worth their time.* Fey is skilled with the setting and creates a truly dark (and–on occasion–graphic) mystery that I found reminiscent of Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Supernatural undertones keep the reader guessing: are they real, or just in the imaginations of the characters? Initially I found myself more interested in Michel’s character than Theo’s, primarily due to my dislike of some of the other Revenants (don’t get me wrong – they’re well-crafted characters, but were they real people I wouldn’t want to hang out with them), but as the book develops Theo pulled me in as well.
Floats the Dark Shadow does take a little while to get going. I felt that just a little too much time was taken to establish characters before things began to develop. But it’s worth the wait. The ending fit together perfectly.
*For my own tastes I would rate it 3 stars.