cover image The Kingdom

The Kingdom

Jo Nesbø, trans. from the Norwegian by Robert Ferguson. Knopf, $28.95 (560p) ISBN 978-0-525-65541-1

This twisty standalone from bestseller Nesbø (the Harry Hole series) centers on the complex relationship between brothers Roy and Carl Opgard, who grew up in a remote Norwegian village. In a hunting mishap, 15-year-old Carl mortally wounds the family dog, but it’s 16-year-old Roy who puts the animal out of its misery and later lies to their parents about who had the guts to do so. Indeed, Roy has always cleaned up Carl’s messes. As adults, the brothers go their separate ways, but old secrets threaten to surface when Carl returns with his wife to the village, where he hopes to build a hotel that will make him rich, a venture that Roy, who runs a gas station and convenience store, is skeptical of. The revelation that Carl may have been sexually abused by their father, who died with their mother in a car crash officially deemed accidental years before, suggests trouble to come. The resulting bloodshed feels both unsettling and inevitable. Fans of classic noir such as Double Indemnity will be hooked. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Nov.)