In Paris, 1888, the city prepares for the Exposition Universelle and the new Eiffel Tower swiftly rises on the bank of the Seine. One August morning, the sunrise reveals the embellished corpse of a young man suspended between the columns of the Panthéon, resembling a grotesque Icarus and marking the first in a macabre series of murders linked to Paris monuments. In the Latin Quarter, occult scholar Rémy Sauvage is informed of his lover's gruesome death and embarks upon his own investigation to avenge him by apprehending the cult known as the Eighth Day Brotherhood. At a nearby sanitarium, aspiring artist Claude Fournel becomes enamored with a mesmerist's beautiful patient, Irish immigrant Margaret Finnegan. Resolved to steal her away from the asylum and obtain her for his muse, Claude only finds them both entwined in the Brotherhood's apocalyptic plot combining magic, mythology, and murder.
Alice M. Phillips of Richmond, Virginia, is an art historian and museum curator living in Iowa City, Iowa. Her recent exhibitions include Exploring the Demimonde: Sin and Temptation at the fin-de-siècle and Nocturnes: Night Skies in Nineteenth-Century Art and the Darker Side of Modern Art. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Iowa, specializing in nineteenth-century Symbolist art. Her doctoral dissertation The Invisible Labor: Nineteenth-Century Art, the Unconscious, and the Origins of Surrealism (2012) is published by Iowa Research Online. Dr. Phillips is also a visual artist, Irish fiddle musician and step-dancer, and facsimile creator of rare historical medical books.
"A flat-out sprint through the horrors not just of 19th-century Paris but the dark spaces where art, science, and spirituality collide. Phillips balances massive knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the time period with a lightness of touch that should be the envy of other thriller writers. Historical but never stodgy, fast-paced but never without weight, this is a major debut from a major talent…Somewhere, Poe is nodding approvingly. And wondering why he didn't think of this."
—Alasdair Stuart, freelance journalist, broadcaster, and host of the Parsec award-winning podcast Pseudopod
"The Eighth Day Brotherhood takes us on a macabre and elaborately descriptive tour through 19th century Paris. The story is drenched in references to art history, Spiritualism, the occult, Symbolism, and Greek mythology and is a joy for art lovers and history buffs alike. The decadent scenery of Paris perfectly contrasts the grisly, macabre murder scenes left behind by the Eighth Day Brotherhood. In a cast of intriguing and diverse characters, you’ll find yourself taken in by the alluring muse, Finn, just as much as the artist who adores her. Part Adèle Blanc-Sec with the macabre sensibility of Dexter, the author’s knowledge and love of the world she’s created and the subjects explored shines on every page."
—J. R. Pepper, Photographer and Lecturer, Morbid Anatomy Museum