Here’s a great new review for my mystery from INDIE READER. This month I’m giving away codes for downloads of my new Audible audiobook of FLOATS THE DARK SHADOW, read by Hollie Jackson, so I hope the review will tempt you to come leave a comment on any post at Chocolate, Cats and Crime, or on any page of my YvesFey . com website.
Rating: 4.5 stars
A policeman in late nineteenth-century Paris tries to track down a vicious child murderer who may be linked to an eccentric group of artists.
The year is 1897, and Inspecteur Michel Devaux of the Sûreté is investigating the disappearance of several young children, mostly boys. Strange winged crosses appear where they have been taken, and there are hints of a link to Satanic rituals. Devaux’s investigation quickly leads him to the Revenants, a group of artists and poets dedicated to creative exploration of life and death, rebellion and truth, darkness and light. Theodora Faraday, an American painter living in Paris, and a member of the Revenants, is horrified by the killings and concerned for her beloved cousin, Averill Charron, a key suspect. Determined to do what she can, she takes up the case on her own – but even her courage and daring may not be enough to save her from a madman’s horrific fantasy.
FLOATS THE DARK SHADOW is a disturbingly- but beautifully-crafted tale that will send chills down the reader’s spine even as it fascinates. Fey has a way with words that matches her heroine’s skill with paints, setting the scene and invoking emotion with vigor and artistic sense. The setting feels true-to-life and three-dimensional – the world of nineteenth-century Paris blooms around the reader, scents and textures, politics and attitudes alike. The plot is vigorous and action-filled without losing coherence or intelligence, and the lead characters are all fully human, fully believable, and in their own ways understandable. Every single person in the book has motivations and backgrounds that shape and move them- some may be sadistic, vicious and vile, but none are ever flat or uninteresting. The ending, while providing a satisfying resolution, retains a certain yearning complexity that leaves the reader hoping for the characters’ stories to be continued in further books – and honestly, it’s hard to let go of such interesting company.
The squeamish reader may not find this a comfortable read, given that it involves, among other evils, the torture and murders of young children, and the author’s skill with words and scene-setting only heightens the horror. There are places, perhaps, where the story drifts a bit too much into the mystical for some readers’ liking, especially with the Tarot cards, but that is naturally a matter of opinion.
FLOATS THE DARK SHADOW is a chilling, dark, richly complex, and thoroughly engrossing historical mystery – with a shiver of horror to it.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader