March 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

When Helena Graham’s beloved Gabriel vanishes from her life, she journeys to  the home of disgraced artist Cristian Salazar, the man she holds responsible for Gabriel’s disappearance and the death of several friends. Once in the town of Carliton, Helena finds only malice and mystery in the tales told by the few brave enough to speak ill of Salazar and the sinister Cousin Beatriz. In time, Helena realises that Cristian and Beatriz possess not only the key to Gabriel’s fate, but a desire to slaughter the town’s young. And within shadows, in the guise of night, walks Alatiel, the Salazar’s wicked beauty…



‘She led a charmed life in Daniele’s mind, in his lucid dreams, quite apart from any real existence of her own. To him, his fair-weather devotion and her response to such were merely bittersweet moments in some imagined ritual of Courtly Love. Daniele’s Lady was, he felt, both his possession and an unattainable prize. He could not know that she only considered him as prey.’

‘In that instant, I imagined I saw her, not as she really was, but as she appeared to them: Alatiel was the mirror in which they saw themselves. She would be whatever her admirers wanted her to be.’

‘Alatiel, refreshed by the flow of blood upon her dry hands, gazed in wonder as the skeins ran slowly along her skin, tracing the lines of her veins. She turned her arms about, taking pleasure in the twisted dance of death.’

‘The tone of her flesh appeared unnatural and more reminiscent of rosé champagne than anything real. An insane thought, spectre-like and uncanny, reared before my mind: had Cristian Salazar painted Alatiel into existence?’



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You are currently reading THE POISON OF A SMILE at Steven Callaghan.


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