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A perfect historical mystery for this time of year, dark and intriguing. Floats the Dark Shadow brought me through the underbelly of Bell Epoque Paris, vivid descriptions of the catacombs, occult practices, medical examinations and the teachings of Taxil. I was also immersed into the beauty of the period with the vivid historical details of the buildings, artistry and people of the time which created a contrast for brutality of the murders. That being said, Yves Fey has not held back with the scenes involving the murderer and the chosen children, these scenes are horrific, yet just snapshots into the actions of the murderer. A colorful cast of characters, including many real historical figures, creates a clash between artistry and science as well as heart and mind as Theodora becomes involved with Michel. I loved the point of view of the murderer and actually wish that I could have read more. The murderer's obsession with Joan of Arc and the interwoven theme of fire. As in any well written mystery, Floats the Dark Shadow held me captivated through the end.In Bel Epoque Paris, Inspector Michel Devaux has been given a tip about several missing children. The missing children are all street children, pickpocket, runners, children of the poor. Michel figures the consequences of their lives have simply caught up to them. American artist Theodora Faraday, part of a group of artists known as the Revenants, manages to save a young orphaned girl from a fire one night, only to have her cousin Averill find the girl brutally murdered and arranged in a gruesome artistic display the next day. Michel suspects that the girl might be connected to the other missing children, and now suspects members of the Revenants as the murderers.
There are a lot of things going on in this book concerning each family member as they go through cycles of hope, fear and loss. The writing is fantastically layered where details come out one by one. The characters are what truly make this story wonderful. Each character is searching for something, something to believe in, and something to hold on to. Samara and Lev have a great relationship and l love that when left to their own devices for dinner they make mac and cheese with M&M’s and pizza with gummy bears. As the Tree of Life infiltrates each of their lives, David, Sam and Lev have a chance at falling deeper. This story is wonderfully complex, one that you will have to sit with and think about. It combines science and religion, fantasy, heartbreak, family, and most of all, hope.