Thursday, August 31, 2017

{Review} THE ATWELLE CONFESSION by Joel Gordonson

Goodreads Summary:

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 families in Atwelle are contesting control of the region in the delicate backdrop of King Henry VIII's dispute with the Pope over the King's divorce. In the middle of these conflicts, the same bizarre murders are being committed in the town. 

Two stories of identical macabre murders five hundred years apart ─ One surprising solution in the mystery of the gargoyles and the Atwelle Confession.

Mandy's Review:

I agreed to read and review this book because the premise of it is in my wheelhouse of stories that interest me. Also, the cover looked creepy and evil and I loved it. The cover above is not the same as the cover on the ARC I received. My cover is below ...

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 glimpses here and there of some of the characters' pasts. I cannot think of one character I got to know at a really personal, emotional level. This read like a story a person would tell around the campfire.

Not all of the conversations were awkward in the book but enough of them were to make me wonder about the quality of the editor's handiwork. Also, some of the scenes in the book felt staged, like an old black-and-white movie. The example I want to give you is towards the end of the book so I won't post it here to prevent any spoilers but when I read it I was like, "Really?! That isn't believable at all."

I started out intrigued and excited to read this novel only to end up disappointed by the lack of character depth and cheesy situational flow. I didn't hate this book but it's also not one I'd go out of my way to recommend, which means this book will only get two stars from me.

*A physical copy was provided by the publicist, FSB Associates, in exchange for an honest review.

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