Floats the Dark Shadow

A mystery of Paris

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
340 Pages
Reviewed on 11/12/2012
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Author Biography

Yves Fey began drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon and writing when she was twelve. She holds a Bachelor's in Pictorial Arts from UCLA, and a MFA from the University of Oregon in Creative Writing. In her varied career, she has been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, baker, creator of ceramic beasties, illustrator, fiction teacher, and finally, novelist.
A world traveler, Yves has visited Paris, England and Italy numerous times. She lived for two years in Jakarta, Indonesia, with many trips around Asia. She currently resides across the bridge from San Francisco, with her husband and their three cats, Marlowe the Investigator and Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Bronte Sisters.
Under her own name, Gayle Feyrer, she authored two historical romances for Dell. The Prince of Cups, takes place in the lush and violent world of Renaissance Italy. The second, The Thief's Mistress, is set amid the earthy glamour of Robin Hood's Sherwood. Under the nom de plume Taylor Chase, she wrote two historical romances for Avon. These novels explored the turbulent realm of Elizabethan England, an era of brash and bawdy manners contrasting with elaborate courtly protocol, of vice and venality contending with a questing romantic spirit. These books will all soon be available again with her own cover illustrations.
Yves has numerous small press publications and a fantasy story in Lonnie Barbach’s collection Erotic Interludes. She's won prizes for her fiction,art,and her chocolate desserts.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bernadette Acocella for Readers' Favorite

"Floats the Dark Shadow" by Yves Fey transports the reader back in time to 1897 France. Our tale begins in a dungeon where someone was impersonating the owner of the castle. It appears he unexpectedly found a child, bound with ropes, hanging from the ceiling. The man pretended he was there to rescue the child. After untying the captive child, he led him to another room where the boy found more children. Theodora Faraday is an American artist living in Paris. When she realizes that children she knows are missing, she joins forces with Inspector Michael Devaux in the search for the murderer.

From the beginning of "Floats the Dark Shadow", there is a sense of darkness, suspense and lurking evil. Yves Fey obviously spent much time in research for this book. She successfully captures the essence of the era with its cabarets and the depraved life style that ruled the period. The romanticism of the era will draw in readers, but the need to solve the murders will keep the reader turning the pages. Fey never rushes the plot allowing the story to flow along at its own pace. The characters are vivid and bring out strong emotions in the reader. Knowing that the victims are children is painful and more than a little frightening. "Floats the Dark Shadow" is a murder mystery replete with elements of the occult including a Black Mass and tarot cards. The Black Mass left me more than a little uncomfortable and the gruesome murders of the children left me angry and sad. Fans of dark suspense will not want to miss this one.

Darin Godby

A winged cross, graveyards, occult practice, tarot cards, innards lying outside a dead body, brazen sexual acts, orgies, virgin blood for sacrifice, degrading of women, and harmful practices that would affect one's life. These are just a small portion of things the reader will discover while reading Yves Fey's book "Floats the Dark Shadow.”
Inspector Michel Devaux has spent much time dealing with crime and satanic activity. The killing of innocent people puts him on the path to find a killer who has gone rampant. This book also displays artist Theodora Faraday in a very interesting manner. She has come to Paris by way of America and now here in this historic town she is continuing her artistic ways.

There is a great amount of history and details of late 1800's in this book moving the reader back in time. The details of location, art, and the occult are thoroughly studied out and not written just whimsically. The reader will be traveling alone wondering how things can work out in any form possible. There is so much trouble, death and satanic worship that the church and God seem to have no way to prevail. However, as you read the story you will be drawn to the encouragement of the writer as she leads the reader down this path.

Anne Boling

Yves Fey offers readers an exciting 19th century mystery in her book “Floats The Dark Shadow.” The story takes place in 1897 when Paris, France was at the pinnacle of elegance, decadence and temped so many to move toward evil. Theo Faraday was an American artist living in Paris, seeking fame in her field; she became entangled with the Revenants through her cousin Arverill. When children she knew disappeared she turned to Detective Michel Devaux, who suspected she knew the killer. Together they searched for clues leading them to cemeteries, catacombs, insane asylums and even to a black mass. What they discovered is frightening; the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of France-Gilles de Rais, a serial killer of children from the 1400s.

“Floats The Dark Shadow” takes the reader deep into the bowels of evil. There are plenty of suspects to keep the reader guessing. The clues are there but the reader will have to be in top form to find them. Fey is a name dropper; she had me researching the relationship Joan d’Arc had to Gilles de Rais. Fey creatively incorporates these people into her plot making the reader want to know more. It is obvious Fey spent much time in researching the era. The lead characters both have strong personalities; Michel and Theo are very different which is what makes them work so well together. I felt as if she had transported me back in time to the 1800s. The theme of this book can be stated simply as good versus evil but the plot is much more complex keeping this reader guessing what would happen next.

Stephanie Dagg

"Floats the Dark Shadow" by Yves Fey is all about atmosphere. Set in fin de siècle, Paris, it contrasts the bohemian, pampered life of the wealthy with the grit and grime of the ordinary poor people. The gendarmerie, including Michel Devaux, come somewhere in between, disliked by both sides as they try to do their job in a crime-ridden society. Comfortably-off Theodora Faraday, an American artist now living in Paris, is a member of a bohemian circle that includes her cousin, Averill Charron. They are Revenants, the literal translation of which is ‘ghosts from the past’. In essence they are spiritualists, and Theodora illustrates Averill’s evocative poetry for his similarly minded coterie. But in contrast there is a darker revenant, carrying out Satanic rites involving kidnapped children. Only when Theodora is brought into close contact with this horror does she begin to see Parisian life for what it truly is. She links up with Michel and assists in solving the horrific puzzle that takes them to the catacombs and an asylum on the trail of evil Gilles de Rais, executed centuries ago, who appears to have returned.

This is a very powerful and challenging novel. There is brightness in the airiness of artistic Paris, but generally there is a dark atmosphere, threatening and suspenseful. Fey has clearly done a lot of research to recreate this period of history and added plenty of authentic details - the love of absinthe, the salons, and the cabarets. Theodora is a sympathetic heroine. She is privileged but she knows it and is fully aware of the plight of the less fortunate. Averil, robust and self-centred, retains a sense of mystery about him, enough for Michel to suspect him of involvement in the sadistic murders that are going on. Tenaciously Michel hunts for the truth and equally as tenaciously Theo believes in her cousin’s innocence. This is a book of strong, well-contrasted characters. The plot is fascinating, making for a totally absorbing novel that you won’t soon forget.

Alice DiNizo

The setting is 1897. Theodora "Theo" Farraday was adopted and raised in California by John Farraday. When he and his family were killed in a train wreck, Theo fled to Paris with only her clothes, her paints and her grief. A lawyer contacts her with information concerning her biological father, Phillipe Charron, a French portrait painter. Theo lived alone in Paris. She loved her cousin, Averill Charron, but the Charrons are less than charming. Theo was an artist like her father and sketched people and places. Her portrait of a missing boy, Denis, brings her into contact with Inspector Michel Devaux of the Paris police, the Surete, who has a working relationship with powerful crime boss, Blaise Dancier. Devaux watches Averill and his friends for they are Revenants, poets. Could one of them be responsible for impersonating the long-dead character of Gilles de Rais, Jeanne d'Arc's murderous lieutenant. Young boys are missing and a young sightless girl has been flayed and brutally murdered.

"Floats the Dark Shadow" is a terrific book! It is a extremely well-written mystery and gothic thriller. That will keep readers on the edge of their seats as main characters Theo and Michel move in on a sadistic child killer. The dialogue is rich with the feeling and understanding of fin-de-siecle Paris with the violence, love of the occult, and the eroticism that flourished in the past. Each chapter has a quotation from writers and poets popular in that era. Author Yves Fey gives readers an example of Paris in that era. "Floats the Dark Shadow" belongs at the top of reading lists everywhere! Don't miss it!