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Floats the Dark Shadow
by Yves Fey

Published: 2012-08-31T00:0
Hardcover : 340 pages
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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 ...
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Introduction

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.

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Excerpt

A thousand candles burned in the darkness of the catacombs.
A thousand flames wavered, golden lights bending and rising with the doleful ebb and flow of the music.
Repelled and fascinated, Theo watched their flickering glow caress the curved domes of the skulls. Tinted by candlelight, the naked bones took on a sepia patina like sacred reliquaries carved from amber. A shiver swept her. Nothing—not her delight in the outrageous, nor the wickedly delicious thrill of the forbidden, not even the inspiration the images would bring to her art—nothing overcame her sense of oppression. They were deep in the earth. Room after endless room of bones surrounded them. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Michel discovers the murderer by uncovering clues and assessing the suspects. Classic detection. To try and save her friends, Theo enters the realm of the occult with Tarot readings and her experience with the leaders of the Golden Dawn. How willing were you to accept her revelations?

How do you think the events of these murders, these betrayals, will effect the major characters in future?

How much does Theo’s involvement with the Revenants help Theo as an artist? How much does it hinder her?

Had you heard of the Commune? Did you know that more people died then than during the French Revolution? Do you think its importance was diminished because the lives of the rich are valued more than the lives of the poor – or was it more purely politically motivated?

What must Michel do to reconcile his guilt in the death of his adoptive father?

Had you ever heard of Gilles de Rais? Who do you consider the most horrible real serial killer? The most villainous fictional one?

How does your attitude toward the real and the fictional differ?

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