Pentecost is Joanna Penn’s debut thriller novel and it’s a good one.
The hero, Morgan Sierra, is a biblical scholar and an Oxford trained clinical psychologist. Before becoming an academic she was a member of the Israeli Defense Forces, where she was trained in combat and uses the self-defense art of Krav Maga to kick some serious ass in this fast-paced religious thriller.
Morgan and her sister are keepers of two of the 12 Pentecost stones once carried by the Apostles. The stones came from the rock that covered the tomb of Jesus and together the stones are believed to hold incredible mystical powers.
Morgan’s sister and niece are kidnapped by Joseph Everett, a wealthy and sadistic madman, who wants Morgan to find the rest of the stones and bring them to him – so he can use their power to resurrect his dying brother.
This mission sends her on a globe-hopping, rollercoaster ride of adventures, tracing the footsteps of the Apostles, to find the stones of the Pentecost – before her sister and niece are sacrificed.
She’s aided by Jake Timber from the ARKANE group, a secret British government agency. They specialize in locating powerful paranormal and religious objects, and keeping them safe from other groups like Thanatos (the Greek personification of death), who seek to use the stones for their own evil ends.
Joanna Penn’s passion for the subject is evident by the in-depth research she conducted to craft this story. Given the rich descriptions of places in the story, it’s obvious she’s been to many of them.
As you read the book you’ll feel influences of Dan Brown thrillers and Indiana Jones adventures. The characters are richly drawn and stand out every bit as much as those in Clive Cussler novels. Pentecost will definitely appeal to all thriller fans.
The story is immediately engaging and has you caring not only for the main character, but even finding sympathy for the antagonist. It hits the right plot points and has some good twists and is well-paced, increasing in intensity right to the explosive ending.
This was a very solid first effort, and I can only imagine the novelist Joanna will evolve into as she continues to thrill her fans. I can hardly wait to see what adventures Morgan faces in Joanna’s new thriller Prophecy.
Pentecost is a real pager turner. Get it, read it and you too will become a fan.
Joanna has a fantastic writer’s website and blog The Creative Penn. It’s filled with great articles on the topic of writing stories and has a wonderful collection of informative podcasts with authors from many different genres.