Jennifer Thorne skewers all-too-familiar family dynamics in this sly, wickedly funny vacation-Gothic. Beautifully unhinged and deeply satisfying, Diavola is a sharp twist on the classic haunted house story, exploring loneliness, belonging, and the seemingly inescapable bonds of family mythology.

Death, body horror, animal death, abortion (off-page).

Anna has two rules for the annual Pace family destination vacations: Tread lightly and survive.

It isn’t easy when she’s the only one in the family who doesn’t quite fit in. Her twin brother, Benny, goes with the flow so much he’s practically dissolved, and her older sister, Nicole, is so used to everyone—including her blandly docile husband and two kids—falling in line that Anna often ends up in trouble for simply asking a question. Mom seizes every opportunity to question her life choices, and Dad, when not reminding everyone who paid for this vacation, just wants some peace and quiet.

The gorgeous, remote villa in tiny Monteperso seems like a perfect place to endure so much family togetherness, until things start going off the rails—the strange noises at night, the unsettling warnings from the local villagers, and the dark, violent past of the villa itself.

(Warning: May invoke feelings of irritation, dread, and despair that come with large family gatherings.)

Don't just take our word for it...

“You think your last family vacation was horrifying? Diavola is about to give you a run for your money. Tuscany has never been creepier.”
– Liz Kerin, author of Night’s Edge

“First, she took us to a terrifying British isle, and now to a terrifying Italian villa? Jennifer Thorne is the travel agent from Hell, and Diavola is an exquisitely paced, thoroughly entertaining thrill ride. The delightfully dysfunctional family dynamics draw you in, while the dread cinches tight around your ankles. Like any dish that bears its name, this book will make you sweat.”
– Nat Cassidy, author of Mary: An Awakening of Terror and Nestlings

“A stunning, darkly funny and genuinely eerie vacation gothic with teeth. Thorne invokes rural Italy, toxic family dynamics and a visceral haunting with finesse. Readers are going to love this!”
– Dawn Kurtagich, award-winning author of The Madness

Taste the very first page

Anna kicked off the annual Pace family vacation with a lie. It was the only smart move, and she didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

Benny had wanted to maintain their usual twin-dependent status by meeting up on Friday and flying together to Florence from Newark, a compromise between New York and Philadelphia, but doing so would have involved her sharing a row with his newish boyfriend for the better part of nine hours, and besides the natural human inclination to avoid torture, Anna had better plans.

So she made her excuses—last-minute client meeting Friday afternoon, stupidly important one, ugh, her agency was such a pain, she really needed this vacation—and Benny rolled his eyes with her, not at her, a crucial difference.

Anna arrived in Florence early Thursday morning and stayed alone in a shoebox Airbnb apartment near Piazza Santa Croce.

In the afternoon and into the evening, she sat on a precariously thin half-moon balcony with her sketch pad stretched across her bare legs, trying to capture the soul of the skyline, until the wine she’d been drinking blurred the lines, and she set it all aside and went out to simply stroll.

La passeggiata, they called it. She liked it—the flow, the freedom, the cacophony of the people around her, and beauty absolutely every- where she looked.

Friday was travel day for the rest of the Pace family, and although the Florence airport was miles away, she woke up feeling their arrival like a to-do-list item she’d been trying to ignore, a psychic tap- tap-tap on the shoulder. Hey! Remember us? Your flesh and blood? Don’t you care at all?

Mom and Dad’s flight from Ohio, via a changeover in Gatwick, landed at 7:28 a.m. Central European Summer Time—they’d…