The Kingdom by JO NESBØ, published by Random House (Knopf) @randomhouse #JoNesbo #Blog #review #TheKingdom #NetGalley

What a fabulous book! All the trappings of an excellent thriller with a treasure trove of secrets you have to uncover. As always, Jo Nesbo delivers a deeply layered, intricate study of the human mind. It’s not surprising this book is a number one bestseller!


In the mountains of Norway a man lives a peaceful existence. However one day his younger brother, always the more successful and charming of the two, turns up to visit, accompanied by his new wife. It soon turns out that the little brother is not quite as angelic as he seems.

Set in a small town filled with secrets, this is a compellingly atmospheric new thriller from the Sunday Times number one bestseller.




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, Random House, and the author – Jo Nesbo, for an advance copy of this fabulous book!

About the author

JO NESBØ is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard and Phantom, and he is also the author of several stand-alone novels and the Doctor Proctor series of children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel.

Other book covers of The Kingdom

Other books by JO NESBØ

Jo Nesbo

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda @KairaRouda @Graydon House @Harlequin #bookreview #psychologicalthriller

With quotes like “FABULOUS.” —B.A. Paris, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown, it’s hardly surprising Best Day Ever has garnered well over 560 reviews on Amazon. With a 4.1 star rating which, for psychological thrillers is outstanding, this book is definitely one that will hit the top 10 Claire’s Best Books of 2019. You have to read it to fully appreciate how deliciously creepy it is. Addictive domestic suspense at its finest, I couldn’t put this book down.



Best Day Ever: A Riveting Psychological Thriller about the Perfect Marriage by [Rouda, Kaira]Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the vein of The Couple Next Door, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

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  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition (September 19, 2017)
  • Publication Date: September 19, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Praise for Best Day Ever

“Highly entertaining and truly surprising!” —Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

Best Day Ever is a creepy, spine-tingling and utterly addictive tale of domestic suspense.” —Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, bestselling authors of The Good Widow


What an entertaining book! Each chapter is presented by the time of day, which can only have been a labour of love (or pain) for Mia Strom. Paul muses how lucky he is to have such perfect wife and two sons, and through his point of view we learn what a narcissist he is. Although this book is listed as a psychological thriller, I found myself swept along by the laugh-out-loud character of Paul Strom. Kaira Rouda has cleverly drawn a man who believes he is king of his own world, a man who has it all, and a man admired by his wife’s former colleagues at the ad agency since it would have gone down the tubes if not for his genius. In a word, Paul Strom is brilliance incarnate—in his own head. You either want to slap him or run and hide.

Lucky for Mia, Paul decides to take her to the Lakeside cottage for the weekend. Driving a Ford Flex, a car only an environmentalist like Paul would appreciate, they embark on a trip while playing his favourite playlist. His mind frolics around deliciously disgusting schemes and we see snippets of his life with Mia. I’m not sure I was frightened of him, more fascinated. But there are vicious underpinnings present as they take the long drive to the cottage, and his bigoted reflections are amusing if not concerning. I couldn’t put the book down because I had to know what he was about to do. Let’s face it, his beautiful wife is his to manipulate for an entire weekend. Imagine that! And since she’s unwell—lacking her usual oomph—this is going to be a relatively easy task. Or is it?

On the way, passive Mia suddenly announces that she would like to return to work now that their sons are back at school. But Paul is side-swiped by this plan he himself did not initiate, and experiences his first setback. Insisting it’s a small glitch that can easily be overcome, he decides to placate Mia, at least on the outside. His mind is never far away from obnoxious-ville and although astounded at her nerve, he must side step around everything he has meticulously planned. But Mia is not as submissive as he was hoping, demonstrating a few best-laid plans of her own. It’s these minor hiccups that throw Paul out of his comfort zone and we see him foundering briefly before righting himself. When he thinks he’s got it sussed—another surprise.

By the time they reach their summer cottage, Paul has lost it. I always get such a kick out of watching the abuser suffer, or a kick-ass woman getting revenge. But this isn’t quite that kind of book. Mia comes across as too pliant and the revenge too coincidental. It really threw me for a loop and I wondered how it was all going to play out. But when Buck, a handsome widower enters the scene, Paul experiences yet another malfunction. It’s these delays or hitches in Pauls tactics that had me hooked.

Kaira Rouda is an exceptional writer and someone I will be following in future. She has created a complex character around Paul Strom and a plot which is hard to forget. This makes BEST DAY EVER extremely high on my list of recommendations. One that will be added to my best ten books for 2019.

About the author:

An image posted by the author. Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her domestic suspense novel BEST DAY EVER is a USA TODAY bestseller translated into more than eight languages. Her next novel, THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, is out May 21, 2019.

She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest: @KairaRouda; and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books.
If you’d like to host Kaira at your book club, in person or virtually, connect with the author, visit


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Kaira Rouda