Author: Steve Emmett
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Source: Received from publisher for review
Ellen’s star rating: 5/5
The chance to build a dream home on a private island in Italy's most beautiful lake 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 his arrival. The island, whose very existence has been shrouded in secrecy for half a millennium, has a dark history that no one cares to remember, and as the locals' opposition to Tom grows, so grows a brooding evil that will lead them to the very doors of hell...
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. Soon they are in for a hair-raising adventure filled with the stuff of their worst nightmares.
This extremely well-researched and suspense laden book kept me spellbound for hours. Filled with action from the word go, the story builds to a mighty climax in the second half of the book. The author took the time to wind the story down in a satisfactory way with some of the questions unanswered - something that I like in a book.
The characters are truly realistically and skillfully crafted. From Sir Roger, the typical old English gentleman, to the numerous Italian locals on Polvese, they are all so absolutely unique and vivid that I could visualize them throughout the story. Some of the bad guys actually have second thoughts when they realize how destructive their mission is, and what is an almost five-hundred-year old priest and his doctor, who is a transplant specialist, doing in the Vatican?
The author uses multiple points of view to tell the story and this serves to crank the suspense up to almost unbearable at times. During the main crisis of the book, he adds what is being broadcast on the media to the rapidly switching points of view thus emphasizing the sense of disaster. This book contains some of the best descriptions of pure evil that I have ever read. His use of the mythical Stymphalian birds gives a nicely inventive twist to the events.
For an edge-of-your-chair reading experience I highly recommend Diavolino, a truly five star read by an author who clearly put in a great deal of effort to create a highly exciting and informative book.
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