The Kingdom is a thriller and a gripping family drama about two brothers. Roy lives a peaceful life in the remote Norwegian village where he grew up. His younger brother Carl left early to travel the world and Roy believed he was gone for good. But Carl suddenly returns with a mysterious new wife and big business plans. He not only wants to make the brothers rich but the rest of the village, too. Unfortunately old family secrets threaten to resurface and Carl´s homecoming sparks off a series of violent events. Besides, Roy finds himself inextricably drawn to Carl’s wife, an attraction that will have devastating consequences. As children, Roy always protected his little brother, but this time his loyalty to family is tested to the extreme. He will be forced to make a very hard choice…
As much as I love Jo Nesbø´s successful Harry Hole series , I must admit that this previous Stand-alones have impressed me more and in The Kingdom he really surpasses himself as an author. The story is set in a rural town in the mountains of Norway, a place with the typical small-town rumours and gossip. In an interview Nesbø calls it a hillbilly country and there certainly are guns, knives, hunting and even an old American car, playing an important role in the story. It is also a place where everyone knows everyone else’s secrets – and some of those secrets might be deadly.
Roy is in his thirties and running the gas station. He is a down to earth man of few words and no close friends, but he is well liked and respected in the village. Carl is a charming, socially clever and smart guy who has returned with his wife Shannon from Canada. He wants to build a hotel in the village and make everybody rich. He is received as a savior, but nobody knows he is fleeing from a financial scandal. He is not as angelic as he seems. Shannon is an architect, whose ambition is to build her masterpiece in the dramatic scenery of the highlands in rural Norway. Three fascinating characters in a dark, violent and gripping drama about brotherly love, jealousy, greed, violence and hidden secrets. A story that explores the ties that bind a family together—and just how far those ties can be pushed before they break.
The Kingdom is much more than an ordinary crime fiction novel, it is a deep and engrossing story with almost biblical implications. It is complex and multi-layered, full of unexpected twists and surprises along the storyline – and well worth to follow to the dramatic finale.
Read a review: Jo Nesbo – The Kingdom