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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The chance to build a dream home on a private island in one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes offers architect Tom Lupton the fresh start he’s been yearning for. But when he arrives with his family on Diavolino, he finds the terrified locals dead set against him. The island, whose very existence has been shrouded in secrecy for half a millennium, has a dark history that no o ...more
Published February 4th 2011 by Etopia Press
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Steve Emmett
Mar 07, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I don't add stars for my own book! ...more
Patricia La Barbera
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Diavolino, a debut novel by Steve Emmett, is a riveting book in the supernatural thriller category. This well-crafted book includes terrifying scenes, vivid monsters, and three-dimensional characters. The exquisite setting in Trasimeno, Italy, provides an intriguing contrast between intense beauty and horrifying occurrences.

Architects Tom and Elspeth Lupton, accompanied by their young daughter, Alice, travel to Italy at the request of an affable but unconventional client, Roger Ashby. I
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for something creepy, dark, and bloody, look no further. Diavolino has all that. And then some. The apocalyptic portents and the showdown against evil are total bonuses. Seriously, nothing says "stay indoors today" like a good demon raising.

What does this book give us? A town that's both welcoming and murderous. An island that no one wants to admit exists. A pervasive evil that you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. A family that is going to have some serious therapy bills
Susan Roebuck
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Fabulous Read

If you’re a fan of Dan Brown and Stephen King, look no further. I have just read a novel 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 to such an extent that I had to email the author and say, Wow! And I was only on chapter three. By th
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Stephen King and Dan Brown, you're gunna love Steve Emmett. In Diavolino, architect Tom Lupton and his family are uprooted from their home in London to design and build a new home for the unconventional Sir Roger who has bought a mysterious island in Italy - Diavolino. The locals see Sir Roger and his new purchase as a threat that will expose hidden evils and put the whole of the town in extreme danger, so, needless to say, Tom and his family aren't exactly welcomed with open ...more
Xavier Leret
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Diavolino by Steve Emmett, the new kid on the horror block, is a spectacular, horrific and devilish romp that has all the catastrophic ambition of a 2012 disaster movie and it doesn't let you down.

Architect Tom Lupton is brought to the island of Diavolino to design and oversee the building of Sir Roger's Playhouse only to find that the island is the doorway to Hell - but of course it is! Before he knows it Tom and his family are caught up in some seriously dark shenanigans. And we have it all, e
Christopher Hivner
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tom Lupton is hired by an old friend, Sir Roger, who happens to be a billionaire businessman, to build a house on an island Sir Roger has purchased in Italy. Tom's wife and young daughter go along and they see the weeks they will spend there as a grand adventure, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The island Roger purchased, however, has been vacant for centuries after atrocities were committed there and the towns people shut it off to civilization. It only takes a few days for the adventure to tu ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, horror
I found myself impressed with this debut novel. The Lupton family thinks they’re just living in Italy for a short while as they design a home for a wealthy client. Instead of a pleasant working vacation, they find unwelcoming and suspicious townspeople and a big scary hole in the ground. I liked the Lupton family as characters, and Annamaria, the local schoolmistress. Emmett does a great job of letting the reader know who is good, who is bad, and who you shouldn’t be too sure of. I was also impr ...more
Emma Shortt
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the sort of genre that I dip in and out of from time to time, and I'd heard good things about this author, so decided to give this one a whirl.

I'm very glad I did.

Emmett writes with a very readable style, the sort that encourages you to turn the pages, wanting to race through and find out what the heck is going on. That's not to say the book isn't worth savouring. I'd recommend two reads--one to just plow through and satisfy curiosity, a second to just enjoy.

The characters are well ro
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this on the Kindle. Being a big horror fan, I was delighted to find that this ticked all the right boxes: a gripping beginning; a slow build, fraught with tension; well crafted, incredibly sinister characters that I couldn't wait to find out more about; a plot that slowly drew me in until I was looking forward to bedtime so that I could find out what was going to happen next. It's meticulously researched, and the author obviosuly has extensive first-hand knowledge of the Italian setting. ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't normally read horror but having got one of the first print copies of this in the UK I couldn't resist. And I really enjoyed it. It has a fast, involving and original story and the author's familiarity with the region of Italy he's describing is obvious. The characters are nicely formed and the living landscape exudes evil.
I'm not going to spell out the story because to do so would spoil it. Just pour a glass of wine - preferably a deep red Italian vintage or perhaps some prosecco and div
Geoff North
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked after that disturbing first chapter. Steve Emmett has given us a whirlwind horror adventure that just doesn't let up. His knowledge of the area adds to the story, and his vision of those things best left hidden in darkness will haunt me for some time to come! Excellent! One of my favorite reads in the last couple of years! ...more
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A seductive start, atmospheric, and pacey with twists and turns... for me - perfect bedtime reading! A real 'good vs evil' adventure, I really enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Steve Emmett ...more
Jo Linsdell
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't completely convinced at the start of this book but the more I read the more I liked it. By the time I got towards the end I couldn't put it down. Once the action started it was fast paced and had me hooked. ...more
Derek Law
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brilliant first novel that captures the sense of place as well as the spirit of evil. Good page-turner!
I. Verse
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Polished and slick.
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I look for excuses to read rather than work, the book must be a page-turner. Such was the case with Diavolino. Was it a good idea for the Catholic Church to exile their murderer and rapist priests to an island where there might be a latent supernatural phenomenon? When Tom Lubton and his family arrives on Diavolino, they find out that, not only are the locals from Polvese dead set against development of the island, but, there is also something strange and threatening on Diavolino itself. So ...more
Heather Faville
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tom Lupton and his wife Elspeth have the once in lifetime chance for a fresh start on things. Commissioned by Roger Ashby, they have the opportunity to build a dream home on a private island in Italy’s most beautiful lake. However, the locals are terrified and set against this becoming a reality. The island has a dark history that surrounds it involving torture and sacrifice and they are in fear that the darkness with awaken and be revealed. Sima, Tom's assistant, who joins the Lupton's on their ...more
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Why this book wasn't taken by a major publisher and blasted all over the media I will never know. It is utterly brilliant. One of the best horrors for years. It's a good old-fashioned British horror adventure of the Wheatley school but with modern influences like King and Barker. Emmett has put all this together to create a 21st century thriller that should be read by everyone remotely interested in horror and supernatural - or Italy. It is not a slasher gore fest, and for that I praise it. On t ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Emmett sets the mood from page one in this horror masterpiece. There's plenty of foreshadowing in place that leads me to wish I could warn the Lupton family. Emmett builds your knowledge of the characters' personalities layer by layer while moving the plot along at fast pace that keeps you turning the page. The imagery of the novel immerses the reader in several environments - England, Italy, and Hell.

If you want a read that feels like a stroll in the park, this isn't it. This book keeps your ru
Catherine Cavendish
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. I understand the paperback is coming out soon in the UK (already out in the US), so all non-converts to ebooks will be able to enjoy it too.
Ute Carbone
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Horror isn't usually my thing, but Steve Emmett writes a riveting tale of demons at the mouth of hell. It's a bit graphic (if you're a squeemy meemie like me). But it's fast moving and very cinematic and it keeps you turning pages. ...more
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, and that's all I've got to say. ...more
Sheri White
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great story; review to come soon and will be linked through my Facebook and Twitter.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rarely does a book leave me in fear and with damp hands, but this did.
Excellent knowledge of the area and gripping yarn. When the next one out
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am not usually a fan of the supernatural, but I really enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat.
Samantha Butler
rated it did not like it
Jun 28, 2013
rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2012
Daniel deLoite
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2012
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Recommendation 3 10 Apr 09, 2011 03:51AM  
Steve studied architecture at the AA in London where he once witnessed Dame Zaha Hadid fall through a canvas chair (admittedly she was just plain Ms Hadid then). He spent most of his working life selling Italian country homes to northern Europeans and Americans, and spent many years living in London and Italy. He will always be grateful to Lehmann Bros for wrecking his comfortable existence and pr ...more

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