Where there is light, there are shadows …
Roses, the scent of them almost visible on the warming air, assaulted him as soon as the door cleared the jamb. Thane shut his eyes against the rush and breathed through it. He rocked for a second and recovered to take in the Belle Epoch dream of an artist’s space beyond the threshold.
Furniture nestled within rings of misty crystal-trimmed lamps while trinket boxes spilt secrets around the base of candelabra. Painted screens and folderol beckoned from beneath swathes of drifting gauzes to create a lush and decadent atmosphere pregnant with mystery. The cramped garret above the blossom-littered cobblestones dazzled the senses with visions of absinthe and poetry—
Except the folds of shawls and velvets couldn’t quite conceal moth marks and worn spots. Dust fuzzed the seductive curves of classical sculpture, and there were scratches and dints aplenty. It was all tags and tatters, and oh yes – the dead girl.
Thane exhaled heavily. His first step inside found a hollow in the floorboards that triggered the door to swing just as silently shut. He rolled his shoulders and wove through the clutter to brood above the girl draped over the divan, a mirror clutched in her hand. A trick of angles revealed both their faces in the mirror and it was no real surprise to Thane that his was the more deathlike.
A bad night with a harsh ending would do that, even to one familiar with the uncanny and fey.
He stepped back a pace, and the glass resumed its adoration of the girl, reflecting her image to the other mirrors waking now with the growing daylight, until wherever Thane looked, even the inside of his own eyelids, he saw nothing but her.
And it was worse than usual, standing over her body on that welter of white satin ablaze with ivory butterflies, because—
‘I know you. Knew you,’ he corrected.
Paris, City of Light. And where there is light, there are shadows …
Thane da Silva works for the Subrosa Negri, a secretive department charged with keeping the peace between the mundane and the Pale, those beings with a little touch of the supernatural in their genetic makeup, a taint of shadow to their history. As the full blue moon casts a glow over the city, Thane’s search for a pair of romantics performing a doomed ritual is just the beginning of an elaborate charade of mirrors and strange communiqués.
Flirting with the fringes of the Pale might be for fools but dabbling of this calibre attracts the attention of Les Luminaries. Powerful and passionate, they are the leaders of the Pale in Paris, and Thane’s best hope of uncovering the truth. However, as he delves deeper into the heart-aching mysteries unveiled by the blue moon, he discovers that secrets lie uncomfortably close to home.
By turns macabre and whimsical, gothic and pop-cultural, Illumé will take you on a lavish journey into the shadows of the City of Light.
Read an excerpt
A great read, Kate Smith has provided a novel of the highest quality with her amazing ability to capture words into a story with the linguistic grace of a poet … This novel does not disappoint.
… a very fascinating read. Kate Smith has a certain poetic style to her writing that is both mysteriously compelling and full of intrigue. Our protagonist, Thane da Silva is as charismatic and sharp as can be and following his journey to search of the truth as supernatural elements take over the City of Light is truly gripping … By focusing on minute details and bringing each page to life with her vivid descriptions, Smith’s intricate language beautifully captures the gothic essence of the book and the contrast of light and shadows of the city. In all, Illumé is a deftly written stand-alone that is sure to have the reader thrilled with suspense.
Where to buy
You can buy this book at a discount in our own bookstore (Australian dollars) in print or digital (ePub & Mobi) formats, ask your local independent bookstore to order it in, or look for it at your favourite online book retailer.