Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Review: The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo

Title: The Kingdom
Author: Jo Nesbo
Published: November 2020, Knopf
Format: Hardcover, 560 pages
Source: pages

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.

My thoughts: Jo Nesbo is still a relatively newish author to me, as I have only read a few of his books so far. But of what I have read, I have really liked and I know he is one of those authors that I will continue to read.

This latest book is a stand-alone and I really enjoyed it. I find that his books, whether they are stand-alones or part of his Harry Hole series, are ones that are not meant to be rushed through, but rather to be read a little slower. This one in particular is so layered and there are so many secrets that are just waiting to be peeled back that you really need the time to digest what you are reading and I found myself flipping back to earlier sections just to remind myself of what had already been revealed.

This story is dark and it is disturbing at times and it is certainly not for the faint of heart. While it starts off a little slow, the pace definitely picks up and it becomes a book that you just cannot walk away from. There are more than a few secrets that are eventually exposed and play a central part to this book. As they come to light, you first think one way about them and then come to find out it was completely another way...that is what I love about Jo Nesbo's writing. It's so clever and cunning. 

This book, while still a crime novel, also delves into how far we will go for family and those we love. This dark family saga has psychological undertones that make for such a riveting, gripping read and the twists and turns really keep you on edge. Jo Nesbo really proves he is a master at his craft and I look forward to reading more from this uber-talented author.


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