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by Jennifer Thorne

DIAVOLA by Jennifer Thorne

Part family drama, part spine-tingling ghost story, this book is deliciously unsettling and utterly propulsive, a story that kept me awake long into the night, so desperate was I to find out what happened next…while also being too afraid to sleep. Macmillan/Nightfire will be publishing in the US in Spring 2024.

Anna only has one rule for the annual Pace family vacations: tread lightly, and survive.

It isn’t easy when she’s the only one who doesn’t seem to fit in. Her twin brother Benny goes with the flow so much he’s practically dissolved, and her high-strung older sister Nicole is so used to everyone—including her blandly docile husband and two young daughters—falling in line that Anna often ends up chastised for simply asking a question. Her Mom is baffled by Anna’s life choices (why waste her artistic talent at an ad agency?), and her Dad—well, he just wants a little peace and quiet.

The gorgeous villa outside a remote Tuscan town seems like the perfect place to endure so much family time—not to mention Benny’s demanding new boyfriend, Christopher. If her family becomes too much to handle, then at least Anna can wander off to a wine tasting or lose herself in an art gallery. That is, until strange things start to happen—strange noises at night, food rotting within hours, dreams that feel more like memories. Then, the unsettling warnings from the locals: don’t open the tower door.

But Anna does open it. And what she releases threatens to devour her family—that is, if her family doesn’t tear itself apart first.

DIAVOLA is equal parts a terrifying ghost story and an incisive family drama, exploring loneliness, belonging, and the seemingly inescapable bonds of family mythology. It has been a long time since a novel has scared me as much as this one has; Jennifer Thorne so elegantly captures the creeping dread and claustrophobia of classic haunted house stories, while making spiteful ghosts feel entirely fresh.

Jennifer Thorne is an author of books for adults and young readers. Her adult horror debut, Lute, was published by Macmillan/Nightfire in October 2022, and received rave reviews, sampled below:

“[F]or those looking for a thriller replete with both terror and fantasy, Lute delivers in spades.” – Bookpage, starred review

“Thorne melds traditional gothic horror with folk horror in this exceptional tale. Themes of family, community, longstanding tradition, and love are thoroughly explored in this deliberately paced novel that takes place over a handful of days. A very close exploration of grief, along with the ways it brings a community together and tears them apart, is the beating heart of this novel, palpable on every page.” – Booklist, starred review

“Jennifer Thorne’s prose is elegant in its simplicity, embracing a quiet minimalism that only enhances its sense of horror. Lute is a stunning achievement for an author new to the genre. This is the type of novel that will haunt you for years to come.” – Grimdark Magazine

“Thorne’s subversion of folk horror tropes and focus on small, intimate beats make for a gripping reading experience.” – Publishers Weekly

She currently lives in Gloucestershire, England with her husband and two sons.