Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She's tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill. When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend-could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass. Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France-Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc's lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children. Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.
If you could sum up Floats the Dark Shadow in three words, what would they be?
This is a dark and creepy murder-mystery novel set in 19th century Paris. It's not the type of fiction I normally gravitate towards, but listening to it almost constantly on a cross-country road trip, we found we were drawn to the well-drawn characters and intricate plot.
What did you like best about this story?
The story is very complicated. You must pay attention and are rewarded by surprising twists.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
We listened to this story for a lot of miles, almost one-sitting. It's probably the best way to experience it so that you can keep track of the characters and their twists.
Floats the Dark Shadow is a beautifully written story that is dark, disturbing and sensual as a tale of love and art against the backdrop of madness and murder. The portions told from the perspective of the killer, believing he is the reincarnation of Gilles de Rais, are beyond chilling and made me feel like I was actually within the mind of a madman. Following Theo and Inspector Devaux as they both try to uncover who is kidnapping, torturing and killing innocent children was thrilling and I can honestly say I did not see the eventual revelation coming!
My only complaint with Floats the Dark Shadow deals with the format and not the story at all, which I loved. I listened to the audiobook version of the story and given the many French names, the accents put on by the narrator and the fact that most of the characters sounded alike made it hard to keep up with the intricate plotlines and differentiate between the characters. Being that this story is a mystery to unravel the killer I found this frustrating and confusing at times.
With this being said, the descriptions of Paris and the surrounding countryside are breathtaking and really transport the reader/listener to Belle Epoque Paris. Theo is by far my favorite character as I found her to be well developed and admirable in her originality, determination and kindness. I believe if I had been reading this story as opposed to listening to it and able to flip back and forth between the pages I would have had less difficulty keeping up with the intricacies of the plot to discover the sadistic murderer and this would have helped with the confusion I experienced. I will also note to those thinking about picking this one up that it is quite graphic at times but, for me, this was needed to highlight the depravity of the participants and the deep-seeded dementia of the killer.
I would recommend this to those who love dark novels set in Paris during this time and those that enjoy a twisted journey to find a murderer and stop him from bringing more children into his web of destruction.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
i really have no idea. it got good reviews already, that's why I picked it. I didn't even finish it, will never finish it, can't wait to be rid of it.
What could Yves Fey have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
I don't know, I found it to be a boring, pretentious, twisted romance novel, i kept thinking it would get better, it got worse. i hit the chapter which had a very graphic sex act involving a dying child, and i was totally repulsed.
What about Hollie Jackson’s performance did you like?
her performance was good, i had no problem with that.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Floats the Dark Shadow?
it would have to be the graphic sex scene with the dying child. since i stopped listening after that i have no idea what other horrid things the book contained.
Any additional comments?