Floats the Dark Shadow is a historical novel in the late 1800's Paris. It is about the decadent art world that includes artists, poets and the dark arts. The background of the story features "Baron de Rais, who was a lord from Brittany, Anjou and Poitou, and a companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc in the 1400's. When Joan of Arc was burned to death it seems that Gilles de Rais loses it and turned to the occult and is later convicted as a serial killer of children, poor peasant children that the police don't think are important enough to even search for.
In this novel it appears that there is someone who is emulating Gilles de Rais and children turn up missing, most not found, but there is one little girl who is found in a cemetery. Theodora Faraday is a struggling American artist who is living with an aunt and uncle in Paris. She is in the same circle as writers, poets and artists in a time in Paris history that it was en-vogue to be in the circles of these people and their lifestyles. Most of these people are dark and brooding and living inside their heads so that their writings reflect their inner torments. Theo's cousin Averill is one of these tortured souls. She finds herself very attracted to Averill. Others in their circle include 'revenants' who Inspecteur Michel Devaux thinks is involved in the disappearance of the children, but which one? Michel Devaux has his own demons to fight along with searching for this despicable killer, but between the efforts of him and Theo hopefully the killer can be found.
I found this story to be well researched and told in such a descriptive way that it was easy to imagine how life was within the artist community. Dark and brooding for the most part but I think that when the occult is involved it certainly isn't rainbows and sunshine. The chapters that involved the killer, I found to be exceptionally chilling and scary. I love scary though so reading this book of a bygone era for me was exceptional. Doesn't hurt that I love reading about the occult either. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the cover of the book is gorgeous and mysterious. I highly recommend it!