Kongeriket The Kingdom

When Roy and Carl’s parents die suddenly, sixteen-year-old Roy is left as protector to his impulsive younger brother. But when Carl decides to travel the world in search of his fortune, Roy stays behind in their sleepy village, satisfied with his peaceful life as a mechanic.

Some years later, Carl returns with his charismatic new wife, Shannon – an architect. They are full of exciting 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.

It’s only a matter of time before what begins as a jubilant homecoming sparks off a series of events that threaten to derail everything Roy holds dear, as long-buried family secrets begin to rise to the surface…

The Kingdom is a simmering and complex thriller full of unexpected twists, devastating family legacies and an ever growing body count.

“I read The Kingdom and couldn’t put it down…suspenseful…original…this one is special in every way.”
–Stephen King


  • “[The Kingdom has] echoes of such classic noir authors as Dorothy B. Hughes, James M. Cain, and Jim Thompson /…/ Nesbo brilliantly uses the insularity of Roy’s world, both internally and externally, to accentuate the Shakespearean inevitability of the impending tragedy.”

    Booklist *Starred Review*, US

  • “Nordic noir powerhouse Nesbø is back with a bleakly captivating stand-alone thriller exploring the tension that arises when morality clashes with familial duties. /…/ Nesbø’s slow-burn thriller is guaranteed to be in high demand. As the story unfolds, it builds in dread and depravity. The small-town atmosphere resembles a Peyton Place as envisioned in an unlikely collaboration between Raymond Chandler and Henrik Ibsen. The complex characters and twisting plot will keep readers turning the pages and eager to discuss.”

    Library Journal, US

  • “The latest stand-alone from the chronicler of Inspector Harry Hole puts all the murky, violent twists on brotherly love that you’d expect from this leading exponent of Nordic noir. /…/ Nesbø peels away the secrets surrounding Carl’s project, his backstory, and his connections to his old neighbors so methodically that most readers, like frogs in a gradually warming pan of water, will take quite a while to realize just how extensive, wholesale, and disturbing those secrets really are. The illusions of a family and its close-knit town constructed and demolished on a truly epic scale.”

    Kirkus Reviews *Starred Review*, US

  • “Twisty /…/ Fans of classic noir such as Double Indemnity will be hooked.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “Richly characterized, perfectly paced and plotted thriller.”

    The Lineup, US

  • The Kingdom is a complex and simmering standalone novel from the author of the popular Harry Hole detective series, and it dives deeply into the psyches of its characters. Twisty, violent, gripping, and very disturbing”

    Buzzfeed, US

  • “This being Nesbo there is plenty of deception, death and partial decapitation to come. No Harry Hole this time, but still a sombre delight. There are shades of a Nordic Ripley, or maybe Virginia Andrews on aquavit. Choose your poison.”

    The Times, UK

  • “Jo Nesbo remains the king of Scandicrime /…/ The Kingdom is the Norwegian writer on assured form.”

    Financial Times, UK

  • “The pace is uncharacteristically gentle, which is well-handled by Nesbo. But it all ends up as enjoyably over the top as ever.”

    Sunday Express, UK

  • Echoes of Dreiser and Steinbeck.

    Sunday Times, UK

  • “It slowly grips the reader in a mesmerising hold, revealing the betrayals and acts of violence in the brothers’ past, building tension page after page, with unexpected twists and building to a gut-wrenching finale. The Kingdom is a stunning novel from a storyteller with few equals.”


    Daily Express, UK

  • “As dark as a coal mine during a power cut. /…/ The Kingdom has more twists and turns than that Cú Chulainn rollercoaster down in Tayto Park that my daughter forced me to ride. Just as one crisis seems resolved, another one rears up on the following page, resulting in lost hours of sleep as you hasten towards the end. /…/ This is a masterfully crafted novel, which continually pulls the rug out from under you.”

    Hot Press, UK

  • “Superbly written and magnificently chilling.”

    Sunday Mirror, UK

  • “Slowly grips the reader in a mesmerising hold, revealing the betrayals and acts of violence in the siblings’ past, building tension, blindsiding the reader with unexpected twists, and building to a gut-wrenching finale. A stunning novel.”

    Daily Mirror, UK

  • “Superbly written and chilling.”

    People, UK

  • “Brilliantly chilling.”

    Best Magazine, UK

  • “Jo Nesbø makes a strong comeback with an outstanding thriller. /…/ Magnificently suspenseful. /…/ Just make sure that you’re sitting comfortably when you get started on Jo Nesbø’s literally excellent thriller. /…/ The Kingdom clearly shows why the Norwegian Jo Nesbø is one of the world’s most read crime writers.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “Jo Nesbø’s latest novel masterfully plays on the full emotional register. /…/ [A] solid, unbearably suspenseful and unceasingly fascinating psychoerotic suspense story.”


    Jyllandsposten, Denmark

  • “Thriller king Jo Nesbø reveals our most powerful urges. /…/ Nesbø is like the court jester who vilifies and misleads, and – like the skilled plot maker he is – wraps his characters and audience alike in a web of bluff and deception, facts and fictitious evidence.”


    Berlingske, Denmark

  • [Jo Nesbø] is incredibly skilled, with an unfailing sense for pace. /…/ Thrilling.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “I’ve now completely devoured the 600 pages long stand-alone The Kingdom. /…/ And it has been a pure pleasure! I’m gently pulled into the harsh Norwegian nature and the depiction of a sibling love that’s greater than everything else. The novel is full of captivating human fates and close-knit family ties that result in dramatic actions. /…/ The story never stops surprising – nothing is ever as it seems, and everything takes new turns over and over again.”

    Norran, Sweden

  • “Geez, [Nesbø] is good. /…/ The Kingdom isn’t so much a thriller as it is a darn good and nerve-racking novel. /…/ [It is a] Shakespearean drama, with allusions to both biblical motifs and Greek tragedies. It’s the dramaturgy, the prose, the swift dialogues, the portraits, the psychology and the depiction of the milieu that give the book momentum, not the thriller element, although that is also present. /…/ Psychologically playful and literarily elegant. /…/ One of Nesbø’s real literary strengths is that he knows how to hook his readers from early on with his prose, dramaturgy and plot. /…/ The suspense lies in the gradual and surprising clarification of the relationship between the brothers, executed with an elegant plot twist in which nothing is what we think it is. /…/ A terrifyingly good novel that no one but Nesbø could have written.”


    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “A story that proves why Jo Nesbø is in a class of his own in Norwegian thriller literature.”

    Dagsavisen, Norway

  • “[The Kingdom] balances between the literarily ambitious and the humble tall tale.”


    Adresseavisen, Norway

  • “It’s a wonderful King of the Hill story that our skilled author has concocted. /…/ A dark, powerful rural crime story about family secrets, fatal love, strong bonds and dramatic deaths. We love Harry Hole, but darn if our top crime writer doesn’t have even more to offer. Good stuff.”


    Bok365, Norway

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Photo: Stian Broch Jo Nesbø
  • Crime
Reading material

Norwegian edition

English edition

Rights sold

Brazil, Record

Bulgaria, Emas

Canada, Penguin Random House

Catalonia, Proa

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Johnny Kniga

France, Gallimard

Germany, Ullstein

Greece, Metaixmio

Hungary, Animus

Iceland, Forlagid

Italy, Einaudi

Korea, Gimmyoung

Latvia, Zvaigzne ABC

Lithuania, Baltos Lankos

Netherlands, Cargo

Norway, Aschehoug

Poland, Dolnoslaskie

Portugal, Dom Quixote

Romania, Trei

Russia, Azbooka

Serbia, Laguna

Slovakia, Ikar

Slovenia, Mladinska

Spain, Mondadori

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Turkey, Dogan Egmont

UK, Harvill

US, Knopf

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