4.24 (58 ratings by Goodreads)
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Tom Lupton and his wife Elspeth have the once in lifetime chance for a fresh start on things. Commissioned by Sir Roger Ashby, they have the opportunity to build a dream home on a private island in one of Italy's most beautiful lakes. However, the locals are terrified and dead set against this becoming a reality. The island has a dark history involving torture and sacrifice, and they are in fear that the darkness will awaken. Sima, Tom's assistant, who joins the Lupton's on their trip has a connection to the supernatural world and this connection sparks a series of events that not only endangers the Lupton family, but the entire world. Emmett’s debut novel is a dark web entangling the Vatican, small town politics and Satanism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 316 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 18mm | 404g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1936751941
  • 9781936751945
  • 856,681

Rating details

58 ratings
4.24 out of 5 stars
5 48% (28)
4 38% (22)
3 7% (4)
2 3% (2)
1 3% (2)

Our customer reviews

A happy family sucked into a good vs bad, world in peril adventure, battling ancient evil in a beautiful setting. For me, this story was the perfect escape at the end of the day. I like my fiction dark, and a deep sense of foreboding is present from the word go - with the Italian setting used to great effect. The author obviously knows the area where Diavolino is set very well, and he paints a wonderful picture, but he brushes the picture postcard scenery with a wash of pervasive darkness. I was quickly drawn into the action - which never lets up.show more
by Julia Kavan
If you're a fan of Dan Brown and Stephen King, look no further. I have just read Diavolino by Steve Emmett that will keep fans of both thrilled - a kind of DB and SK one-stop book. How it could be overlooked by large publishing houses is beyond me, but maybe it's the sign of the times, I don't know. I'm not usually a fan of paranormal and horror but this new story grabbed me from the very first page. I just had to, so I emailed the author and said, Wow! And I was only on chapter three. By the end I was breathless, so wrung out I couldn't touch a keyboard until now. The scene is set in Italy, there's Vatican involvement in this thriller (we believe), and a puzzle to solve that leads back to ancient icons and history, not forgetting a simmering fight between Good and Bad on the point of boiling over. Sounds like Dan Brown? Maybe, but this is so much better. The reader is able to smell, taste, feel and see the countryside of Umbria, the author really knows his stuff about this area. But, don't worry, it doesn't overwhelm the plot at all. We start out in the Papal States, circa 1545. In true Stephen King fashion the reader gets a foretaste of the horror to come and what a horror, the author is a master at conjuring up the worst images and situations. I was just wiping my brow when I breathed a sigh of relief to be taken to recent London and characters as normal as you or I (!) Fully rounded characters, I might add - none of your two dimensionals à la D.B. - with believable dialogue and quirks. It's not my place here to give the plot away, suffice to say that my relief was short-lived as I was transported off to modern-day Italy - back to that place in Umbria which had me reeling in the beginning. And that's where the suspense builds. And if the horror at the beginning was bad, you won't believe what comes up later. The author is exceedingly clever: he's done a lot of research into his subject and releases it at just the right pace. He knows how to tease, to thrill and to leave almost every scene on a cliff-hanger that has the reader begging for more. It is a heart-racing thriller with twists that take you on a roller-coaster which will have you clinging to the sides of your chair. But it's a fun ride that builds to a horrifying climax having reduced Italy to a boiling cauldron (Italians watch out!). All I can say is, put this at the top of your reading pile and be prepared to sweat (or glow, in my case).show more
by Susan Roebuck
This is my kind of horror story. Great plot, plausible characters that you actually care about and a pace that never lets up. This is 21st century Dennis Wheatley meets Stephen King and I found it unputdownable. Highly recommended.show more
by Cat Cavendish
I'm hard to please when it comes to fiction but I've seen a number of items about Diavolino and thought I'd give it a try. I'm amazed that this is a debut novel. Set in Italy, a place I know well, this mixes odd locals with expats, Satanism and the Vatican. Emmett has such a way with words I couldn't put it down. I recommend it to anyone who likes a horror story to be a well written. The sense of place is spot on, not too much description because the author achieves it with just the right choice of words. And boy, is it fast paced. I needed a breather when I'd finished. I'm looking forward to his next book. I would say he's one to watch.show more
by Andrew Palmer
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