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 the end I was breathless, so wrung out I couldn’t touch a keyboard until now.
You waiting for the title? Hang on.
The scene is set in Italy, there’s Vatican involvement (we believe), and a puzzle to solve that leads back to ancient icons and history, not forgetting a simmering fight between Good and Evil that threatens to boil over.
Sounds like Dan Brown? Maybe, but this is so much better.
In this novel 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 or the reader at all.
It starts out in the Papal States, circa 1545. In true Stephen King fashion the reader gets an immediate foretaste of the horror to come. And what a horror - the author is a master at conjuring up the worst images and situations. I wiped my brow and breathed a sigh of relief when I was next 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 then transported off to modern-day Italy – back to that place in Umbria which had me reeling in the beginning. The suspense builds. 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).
Shall I put you out of your misery? OK.
DIAVOLINO by Steve Emmett should be the book of the year. Read it and see if you agree.
Catch Steve : here