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The Atwelle Confession

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  41 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
After discovering rare gargoyles mysteriously positioned inside an ancient church being restored in the small English town of Atwelle, the architect Don Whitby and a young research historian Margeaux Wood realize that the gargoyles are predicting the bizarre murders that are occurring in the town. Five hundred years earlier when the church is being built, two powerful fami ...more
Published September 19th 2017 by Select Books (NY)
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Amalia Gavea
Confession: I chose this novel because there is a gargoyle on the cover. I am a sucker for gargoyles. Let me live inside our beloved Notre Dame, in the Cologne Cathedral, in St. Vitus in Prague with the scariest gargoyles I’ve ever seen (and honourable mention the darkly grotesque and utterly ugly gargoyles in the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona that are truly scary to look at) and I'm happy, I feel at home. When I read the blurb though, I admit I had some suspicions, because the same old "two ...more
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
During religious wars in England, a church gets most of its support from two families, as a savvy priest pits them against one another.

Meanwhile, 500 or so years later, researchers into the church find gargoyles that appear to predict murders happening today.

The two storylines intersect.

Then we get a Da Vinci Code knockoff. At the end, I was disappointed, because it all seemed so easy.
Laura LVD
This thriller is an entertaining, simple read. Something suitable for the summer or the commute.
But i found the characters a bit plain and underdeveloped, and the ending, which i suppose had intended to be surprising, quite dull. The motivations of the characters behind the ploy were a bit weird and unrealistic and not explained enough.
Still, a non-demanding, quick mystery read.
*I received a free copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Mark Forrest
An entertaining read which cracked along at a speedy pace. Since I have a little knowledge of the area, this added a degree of attachment to the story but even without that, the book does not out stay its welcome and even felt somewhat rushed at the end.
Stephanie Tracy
I was offered a free copy of this new novel in return for an honest review. I was very happy to be given the opportunity to read it, and I'm very grateful that the publisher reached out to me.

While I found the premise of the book clever - mysterious gargoyles tying back to the 16th century, found in a church by two modern-day academics - the book, as a whole, fell flat. There was murder and scandal, both present-day and 500 years ago... but maybe it was the fact that the author divides each cha
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
So, what we have here is a mystery spanning centuries connected by some carved gargoyles inside of a church. Each gargoyle is different and hints to part of the past of the two families who helped build the church. Why in the world a gruesome story is depicted inside of the church is something Don and Margeaux is trying to figure out. Are the gargoyles cursed? Is someone just using the symbolism to conduct their deadly deeds?

There wasn't really any depth to this story. The reader only catches gl
Miriam Downey
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

Joel Gordonson sat listening to a medieval scholar tell of her discoveries at a small church in Norfolk in England. Apparently the researchers had found a set of 12 carvings of demons (gargoyles) in the roof of the nave of St. Clement's Church in the village of Outwell. His imagination took wing, and the book The Atwelle Confession is the result of his imaginings.

The novel revolves around the building of St. Clements Church in 1
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Odd premise aside, this is a pretty good book.

The opening of the book is set in Atwelle, Norfolk in 1532. It is the twenty-third year in the reign of King Henry VIII. Two men are accused of having to do with something they shouldn’t have and are sentenced to confess publicly in front of crowds. The men say that that will be their ruin.

We then move forward to the present day. A vicar is murdered just after he posts a letter. The murder is committed by someone the vicar knew.

Margeaux Wood i
The Irregular Reader
There’s something odd about St. Clements church in Atwelle, Cambridge researcher Margeaux Wood can feel it. When odd gargoyles are found carved into the eaves of the church during its restoration, her hunch seems to be confirmed. Teaming up with Don Whiby, the architect in charge of the restorations, Margeaux sets out to uncover the story behind the unique carvings. But then there is a murder, and soon another, and the pattern of the murders seems to echo the mysterious carvings in the eves. Fur ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
As other reviewers have said, I came here via the 'gargoyle groupie' door. I do love gargoyles. I also love period mysteries and old/ancient churches. This book ticked a lot of boxes for me.
The book is written in alternating flashback chapters which are labeled, so the story isn't difficult to follow. It's a good thing, since the dialogue is -very- anachronistic and clunky in places. I found myself wincing occasionally after a particularly wooden bit of narrative. There were 'academic interacti
Jessica Bronder
Margeaux Wood is researching the Atwelle Church and Don Whitby is the one restoring it. They get talking about the history of the church and how it relates to King Henry and his argument with the Pope. While exploring the church Margeaux and Don discover some gargoyles in the inside of the roof. It seems that people are being murdered in the area in the same sequence as the gargoyles holding the heads.

At the same time we follow along as King Henry VIII’s is fighting the Pope over his divorce. W
Lovely Loveday
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
The synopsis for this book sounded interesting but I am not fond of the cover it just does not do the book justice. While I am a fan of mysteries, I just could not get into this book. The plot line was a different one with not a lot of depth and it could have used more character development and backstories to really mesh everything together. You only get bits and pieces of the characters past here and there nothing that helps with the overall story. I was curious about this book at first but as ...more
Benjamin  Thomas
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to FSB Associates for a review copy.

Loved it! What a great book with a parallel storyline that converges in the climax. The Atwelle Confession is a well written historical mystery full of suspense. Author Joel Gordonson writes in such a way it's easy to dive right into the story. Well researched, entertaining with a scholarly taste.

The tension, conflict, dilemma and unraveling of historical mystery slowly builds ending in a satisfying resolution.
Kristin Simonson
If you are looking for a easy to ready mystery that keeps you guessing until the end, this book is for you. Although I was a little concerned about the parallel plots lines, I found them easy to follow and they come together seamlessly at the book's conclusion. Once I got started reading, I couldn't stop reading until I finished the book.
Kitty Catalyst
Sep 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
I could not finish this book. There was not a single thing to draw a reader in and attach them to the less character. It got to a point where it actually became very easy to relate to her detractors. I did not get very far into the book, but there are so many books I know will be good, it felt like wasting my time.
This is what I get for randomly picking a book from the library shelf without researching it on goodreads first. Two stars because the author had a clever idea, but that's it.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
My Recommendation: Overall, as I said, this is a solid read. I think Gordonson has a lot of potential, but also has a lot more work to do in writing realistic readable characters. He thrives in the historical setting and I almost want to read That Boy From Nazareth because it is completely set in the distant past.

My Response: Every now and then you need a bit of a historical mystery/thriller to keep you going and when the publicist reached out to me about a review copy of this I was just intrigu
Nice idea, but failed a bit in the execution. There was nothing particularly bad about the book, it was just boring. It was like watching Jessica Fletcher when you were expecting Sherlock Holmes. It had potential but didn't quite reach it.

Thank you to netgallery for an ARC.
Charles Jewell
rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2017
FSB Associates
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2017
Anita Kane
rated it it was ok
Apr 11, 2018
Nicole Boe
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2017
Samantha Rowland
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2017
Selina Tsang
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2017
Michelle Malsbury
rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2017
The Atwelle Confession features two interconnected stories. The first is set in 1532 as King Henry VIII fights Rome to have the ability to divorce his wife. The St. Clement’s Church is under construction in the village of Atwelle. The parish priest visits two prominent local families to see about acquiring funds necessary to complete the building. Both heads of the household are worried about helping to fund the project because they do not want to seem to support the Catholic Church until they k ...more
Rosie Miller
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2018
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Joel Gordonson, before becoming a novelist, has enjoyed a career as an international attorney. He holds law degrees in the United States and from the University of Cambridge.

Gordonson’s family tree includes a long line of ministers, including a great-grandfather who emigrated from Europe in 1860 to become a missionary on the American western frontier. It is this lineage that influenced the subjec

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