Review: The Kingdom - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Two brothers. One small town. A lifetime of dark secrets.

A tense and atmospheric standalone thriller from best-selling author Jo Nesbø.

Roy has never left the quiet mountain town he grew up in, unlike his little brother Carl who couldn’t wait to get out and escape his troubled past. Just like everyone else in town, Roy believed Carl was gone for good. But Carl has big plans for his hometown. And when he returns with a mysterious new wife and a business opportunity that seems too good to be true, simmering tensions begin to surface and unexplained deaths in the town’s past come under new scrutiny. Soon powerful players set their sights on taking the brothers down by exposing their role in the town’s sordid history.

But Roy and Carl are survivors, and no strangers to violence. Roy has always protected his younger brother. As the body count rises, though, Roy’s loyalty to family is tested. And then Roy finds himself inextricably drawn to Carl’s wife, Shannon, an attraction that will have devastating consequences. Roy’s world is coming apart and soon there will be no turning back. He’ll be forced to choose between his own flesh and blood and a future he had never dared to believe possible.

Book Type:

Nordic Noir

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The Kingdom
By Jo Nesbo

Review: The Kingdom

With his latest, Jo Nesbo explores the ties that bind two brothers together. Roy and Carl Opgard are no strangers to violence. Together, they’ve survived those who’ve wronged them in the small Norwegian mountain town in which they grew up. While Carl fled abroad to become an entrepreneur, Roy stayed behind to run a petrol station in town.

But Carl surprisingly returns with his new bride, Shannon, at his side. Carl has big plans for the them, and for the town—they’re to build a grand hotel and spa on their very own land, the same land where their parents plummeted to their death.

And with a plan that seems too good to be true, tensions begin to simmer, and the brothers are once again a target. To make matters more complicated, questions around unexplained deaths resurface, bringing unwanted scrutiny which threatens to reveal long-buried secrets.

With a gradual and deliberate mastery, Nesbo reveals sinister truths about Roy and Carl. Truths so dark, disturbing and insidious that you can’t seem to look away from what happens next.

THE KINGDOM imparts a classic Nordic Noir narrative with its dour, ominous atmosphere, dark themes, and the nuanced character study of the two flawed brothers—in particular, the introspective Roy Opgard.

The illusions of family and loyalty are masterfully deconstructed by Jo Nesbo as tension gradually ratchets towards a shocking set of events.

The more I thought about the book, the more I appreciated how layered and brilliant it was in its unfurling, but initially, because I was expecting a pace akin to the Harry Hole novels, it admittedly felt a little slow. This is a different side of Nesbo and a different type of story altogether. Knowing that may better frame expectations and allow you to enjoy this sinister standalone from a truly exceptional author.

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