The Kingdom
Roy and Carl have spent their whole lives running from the darkness in their past, but when Carl finally returns to make peace with it, the two brothers are inexorably drawn into a reckoning with their own demons.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.

The Kingdom Details

TitleThe Kingdom
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 10th, 2020
PublisherKnopf
ISBN-139780525655411
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, European Literature, Scandinavian Literature, Crime

The Kingdom Review

  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    The Opgard brothers - Roy and Carl - live on a mountain farm their father refers to as The Kingdom. After the death of their parents, Roy stays and Carl goes to the USA and Canada. He returns fifteen years later with architect wife Shannon and a big dream for a Kingdom hotel and a plan that will involve the local village community. Some people are enthusiastic, others suspicious including Sheriff Kurt Olsen who is watching the brothers very carefully, with good reason. The story is told by Roy. The Opgard brothers - Roy and Carl - live on a mountain farm their father refers to as The Kingdom. After the death of their parents, Roy stays and Carl goes to the USA and Canada. He returns fifteen years later with architect wife Shannon and a big dream for a Kingdom hotel and a plan that will involve the local village community. Some people are enthusiastic, others suspicious including Sheriff Kurt Olsen who is watching the brothers very carefully, with good reason. The story is told by Roy. At the start of the book I was a little bit worried but have no fear, this is the Norwegian maestro. If I can make a car analogy (cars are very important in the storytelling especially Cadillacs) it’s like one of those vintage cars you crank with a handle, it takes a while to get it going but once it’s off, it goes at a lick. In fact, at times the pace is warp speed. The story of the two brothers is as dark and long as a northern Norwegian night. At times it has a sort of biblical Cain and Abel vibe, though at others the brothers collaborate but there’s underlying jealousy and mistrust although they have a bond of love bound up in secrecy. The brothers are absolutely fascinating and their characters are absolutely intrinsic to the storytelling and plot line. It’s convoluted, intriguing, mysterious, full of suspense and as twisty as one of the roads up to The Kingdom. There’s layer upon layer of secrecy, lies, coverups, pretence, betrayal, obsession, love and violence. I love the idea of the hotel, the setting adds to the atmosphere and the wildlife especially birds, is used effectively. I cannot do the book justice in this review because the plot is so packed it’s impossible to mention everything! Overall despite the slow start this is another brilliant thriller from Jo Nesbø who is one of my favourite authors. I think this will be a memorable one because of the depth of the character study. Highly recommended to fans of this genre. 4-5 stars rounded upWith thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House, Harvill Secker for the much appreciated ARC.
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  • Crime by the Book
    January 1, 1970
    Just recently finished re-reading this book and ALL I want to do is keep thinking about it & talking about it. Nesbø is my all-time favorite author so it’s no surprise that I loved this book, but what IS a surprise is how quickly this book became one of my favorite Nesbø books ever. Each standalone novel Nesbø writes is totally unlike the others, and highlights another side of his talent. In THE KINGDOM, he puts his own dark (*very* dark) spin on a story that explores the ties that bind a family Just recently finished re-reading this book and ALL I want to do is keep thinking about it & talking about it. Nesbø is my all-time favorite author so it’s no surprise that I loved this book, but what IS a surprise is how quickly this book became one of my favorite Nesbø books ever. Each standalone novel Nesbø writes is totally unlike the others, and highlights another side of his talent. In THE KINGDOM, he puts his own dark (*very* dark) spin on a story that explores the ties that bind a family together—and just how far those ties can be pushed before they break. This is a slow-burn crime novel (aka: it’s got a very different vibe than a Harry Hole thriller). It’s a story with layer upon layer of sinister revelations in store for the reader, and Nesbø ratchets up the tension page after page until the story reaches its truly gut-wrenching conclusion. Note that this is a very dark story and it grapples with disturbing themes including abuse and sexual assault. I’ll have more coherent thoughts to come as we get closer to this book’s release and I process all my thoughts and feelings. Loved this one so, so much.
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  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    This standalone novel is nothing like the successful Harry Hole series by the same author and a much more gentler and slower paced novel than I was expecting. The book started very slow probably because of my expectations of a fast paced action novel but the story built and built to an excellent finale. This is the story of two very different brothers Roy and Carl whose parents die when they are both just teenagers. Roy is a protector to his impulsive brother Carl and is content to live in the s This standalone novel is nothing like the successful Harry Hole series by the same author and a much more gentler and slower paced novel than I was expecting. The book started very slow probably because of my expectations of a fast paced action novel but the story built and built to an excellent finale. This is the story of two very different brothers Roy and Carl whose parents die when they are both just teenagers. Roy is a protector to his impulsive brother Carl and is content to live in the sleepy village his father called the kingdom. While Roy works as a mechanic Carl is looking for a much different life and leaves home to seek fame and fortune. Carl marries an architect named Shannon and together they have grand plans to build a spa hotel on their family land. Carl wants not only to make the brothers rich but the rest of the village, too. A series of events threaten their plans as well as long buried secrets from the past.This book got better with every page I read and reminded me of a similar experience I had recently while reading the new Tana French novel 'The Searcher'. Both books are well written but so different from what we have grown to expect from them and show the extent of the writing.I would like to thank both Netgalley and Knopf for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Martina
    January 1, 1970
    Stand alone novel coming to the US at not exactly sure... First saw September 15, 2020 as the date, now 9 November 2020 from Knopf.Two brothers, a rural, mountainous location where they grew up. One stayed, the other went away, but returns and things from the past get stirred up. Whatever it is, it's Jo Nesbo...
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  • Claire Stibbe
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story of choices and courage, and about Roy against everyone else. A year older than Carl, it is clear he is the more robust of the two brothers. But the day Carl heads out with his father’s beloved dog changes everything. Roy has always been Carl’s guardian, his protector and helper. ‘Nothing is as good as the sound of a little brother who is safe.’ He has lived in his wilderness kingdom for fifteen years alone with the oppressive ghosts of Opgard, while Carl studied finance and busin This is a story of choices and courage, and about Roy against everyone else. A year older than Carl, it is clear he is the more robust of the two brothers. But the day Carl heads out with his father’s beloved dog changes everything. Roy has always been Carl’s guardian, his protector and helper. ‘Nothing is as good as the sound of a little brother who is safe.’ He has lived in his wilderness kingdom for fifteen years alone with the oppressive ghosts of Opgard, while Carl studied finance and business administration in the USA. Now Carl is back home with a rather large agenda. A mountain hotel and the idea of selling the property that had been in their family’s possession for four generations. He returns with Shannon in tow and this time, the world is a little different.The book has a great sense of community and rivalry, and the poetic descriptions that stay with you for days are, as always, stunning. A much slower pace than Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, it nevertheless delivers the same massive punch. It also delves deep into Roy’s and Carl’s pasts, a seemingly normal upbringing with the underpinnings of unresolved grief, infidelity and revenge. Is Carl’s sudden return simply to show off how well he’d done? And how will he build this ‘castle in the air’ and gain investors from a town built on skepticism? From the outside, Carl’s relationship with Shannon appears tender and devoted, living in each other’s pockets. But there is underlying tension and you wonder what kind of straw will break the camel’s back. Accidents do happen, although Kurt Olsen has his own opinions. He’s a hunter. He won’t give up. To say I couldn't put it down is an understatement. I kept thinking I knew how it would end but I was far from it. Bruises, revenge affairs, fires, and Roy’s plan. What could possibly go wrong? Strangely addictive and a keep-you-up-all-night story, it’s no wonder Scandinavian writers continue to dominate the thriller market. Intricate plotting and masterful characterization makes this one of my favorite books this year.Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher – Random House, and the author – Jo Nesbo, for an advance copy of this fabulous book!
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  • Kath
    January 1, 1970
    I have read and enjoyed a couple of this author's Harry Hole books so I was quite excited when I saw this, a new stand alone. I will just say that it is nothing like the series apart from being just as good!In it we meet Roy and Carl - two brothers who are chalk and cheese. Their parents died when they were quite young and it was Roy who stepped into the role of protector to his younger brother. It was Roy who stayed in the family home, who built himself a life as a mechanic and manager of a gar I have read and enjoyed a couple of this author's Harry Hole books so I was quite excited when I saw this, a new stand alone. I will just say that it is nothing like the series apart from being just as good!In it we meet Roy and Carl - two brothers who are chalk and cheese. Their parents died when they were quite young and it was Roy who stepped into the role of protector to his younger brother. It was Roy who stayed in the family home, who built himself a life as a mechanic and manager of a garage. It was Carl who left home to seek his fame and fortune elsewhere. As we meet them, Carl has just returned home with his architect wife Shannon in tow, the two of them armed with grand designs on the family land. They want to build a spa hotel. They spin it as a great thing for the dying village. To bring some well needed money in. But it would be a pretty pointless book if everything went swimmingly. So, of course, it doesn't - that's no spoiler. But it's not all about what is happening in the present. There are so many secrets from the past. Really big juicy ones. As these start to come out, despite the brothers trying to keep them hidden, as Roy starts to really get to know Carl...well... buckle up, you're in for one heck of a ride...Oh my days... this is a bit of a slow burner initially. It builds up the intrigue layer by layer, hinting at things in the past that threaten the present. Once the scene is really set, when all the players are in place, then the author ramps it all up as he starts to expose the truth bit by delicious bit until the whole truth of the brothers' past is laid bare. Brilliant!With secrets and lies aplenty this book kept me on my toes throughout. I tried to guess what was coming next but when it hit me, well, talk about sucker punch! The slow starts eats away at you, it slowly got under my skin until I was firmly in its thrall, powerless to put it down. It's one of those books that will have you reading into the wee hours - it did me!Reading and loving this book has reignited my determination to revisit the Harry Hole books I have yet to read. There's quite a few so wish me luck!My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    This is an exceptionally written novel about family and the things we do to protect the ones we love. It's about secrets and how they fester in the soul, eating away at any sense of normality until they burst forth with malicious results.Roy and Carl are brothers bound by secrets, those shared and those cloaked in silence. Roy, the older, vowed to always be there for his brother even though he felt he wasn't when it counted the most. He has spent his life making up for what he conceives was his This is an exceptionally written novel about family and the things we do to protect the ones we love. It's about secrets and how they fester in the soul, eating away at any sense of normality until they burst forth with malicious results.Roy and Carl are brothers bound by secrets, those shared and those cloaked in silence. Roy, the older, vowed to always be there for his brother even though he felt he wasn't when it counted the most. He has spent his life making up for what he conceives was his fault, his job, with any means necessary. The consequences of both brother's actions will have devastating outcomes.This book asks the age old question: Do we really know anyone?Please add this one to your list.
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  • Collette Mcgaahan
    January 1, 1970
    It at all what I was expecting and I was quite disappointed overall. It’s not that the book isn’t good because it is. The characters were well developed and the two main ones Roy and Carl hook you in and dangle a complex and complicated back story and future. It just didn’t feel like I was reading a Jo Nesbo in any way and I missed the usual tension that there always is in his books. If I take away all that history of the previous Books of Nesbo that I have read and give an honest review of The It at all what I was expecting and I was quite disappointed overall. It’s not that the book isn’t good because it is. The characters were well developed and the two main ones Roy and Carl hook you in and dangle a complex and complicated back story and future. It just didn’t feel like I was reading a Jo Nesbo in any way and I missed the usual tension that there always is in his books. If I take away all that history of the previous Books of Nesbo that I have read and give an honest review of The Kingdom I’m left with a four star so that is what I will score it.
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  • Bunmi
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the author for an advance copy of this amazing book. I've read all of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole books, and this is quite different, but still a gripping read. The story is a little slow to pick up, but once it all starts to fall into place, you can't put the book down ! I have to say the end wasn't what I expected - and I had to keep checking to see if maybe there were a few pages missing. But a good read, couldn't put it down once I got about halfway throug
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  • Annabel
    January 1, 1970
    A much slower read than Nesbo's normal thrillers, but for the main part - despite the slow start - was really engrossing, Narrator Roy is compelling and both the backstory and current plot kept changing my take on what was happening. Ultimately found the ending a bit frustrating and implausible, but 80% of the book had me completely gripped. It will make an amazing film
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