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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.