Mysticism and dark perversions take over 1897 Paris in this complex murder-mystery romance.
Bohemian artist Theodora Faraday, originally from California, has become associated with an avant-garde group of poets who call themselves Les Revenants. She’s also fallen in love with her Parisian cousin, Averill. Inspecteur Michel Devaux, meanwhile, is investigating the disappearance of missing children, which invokes the wrath of Vipèrine, a Satanist who fancies himself the incarnation of an infamous killer. The Revenants find themselves under the scrutiny of the detective and within the amorphous social circle of Vipèrine. Each chapter adds a level of complexity that intensifies the lively tension within the story; yet the reader is rarely prepared for what’s next. Paris is painted with uncanny realism using masterful splashes of descriptive color against a somber backdrop, while characters move through historical events, such as the Paris Charity Bazaar fire and the admission of women to the School of Fine Arts. The characters develop as their entwined relationships become ever more enmeshed in the shadowy plot woven around mysticism, Satanism and sadistic murders, all of which slowly spirals to a climax. Glimpses into the eye of the storm are shown without blatantly revealing answers to the complex mystery, much of which is shrouded by tortuous relationships. The author has written other mystery–romances under the pseudonyms Gayle Feyrer and Taylor Chase, but this may be her best work to date.
Dark and emotionally wrenching, this novel isn’t for those looking for a restful night’s sleep, but readers who crave edgy murder mysteries will be enthralled.