Book Launch – The Atwelle Confession by Joel Gordonson

Event Details

The event at Outwell, at 7.00pm on Friday 20th October 2017, will mark the publication of the book, and will consist of readings by the author and suitable music by musicians from Cambridge, and a presentation about the carvings, both their possible original meaning and how they might be interpreted in today’s climate. Food and drink provided. Copies of the book will be on sale and the author himself will be there to sign them.

There is no charge but a request for donations towards the restoration and repair work of the church. The Friends of St Clement’s Outwell is supporting the restoration programme.

The setting of The Atwelle Confession is based on the real St. Clement’s Church located in the village of Outwell, from which the fictional town of Atwelle is derived.  The town of Outwell is located at the western edge of Norfolk, and it is there that researchers recently discovered the presence of several grotesque carvings hidden in the darkness of the roof area of the church’s nave.  These carvings are almost impossible to see with the naked eye, and by all estimates have been forgotten for hundreds of years.


The carvings serve as the centerpiece for Gordonson’s novel, which weaves two interconnected storylines around the mysterious figures. One of these threads is set in the present day focusing on the architect Don Whitby and research historian Margeaux Wood and their discovery of these eerie gargoyles. The other thread takes place five hundred years ago in Tudor England under the rule of King Henry VIII. These two parallel stories spanning the centuries are tied together by a series of identical murders, the key to which is to be found in the mystery of the gargoyles.

In creating The Atwelle Confession Joel Gordonson drew from his own experience of living in the English countryside. The town of Outwell is less than an hour’s drive from his alma mater, Cambridge University, and upon learning of the unusual figurines found in St. Clement’s Church, Gordonson imagined a secret history locked up within these unusual objects.


Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Templar Legacy, said of the book, This [book] is painted on a broad canvas, woven rich in historical imagery and modern characterization. Lush and lusty, fascinating and smart.


Joel Gordonson is the author of The Atwelle Confession (September, 2017) and That Boy from Nazareth: The Coming of Age of Jesus of Nazareth (2015). Along with being a novelist, he is a highly successful attorney in the international trade arena. With law degrees received in both the United States and from the University of Cambridge, he publishes scholarly works in international legal publications while writing his fiction on the side. In addition to writing, he has done extensive public speaking that includes decades of presentations of appellate arguments, seminars, and media appearances. His home is divided between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.


You can find links here to  the Press Release and an article in the Daily Telegraph last month.

For more information please contact the Friends of St Clements Church                                                                                  or email Claire Daunton