I sacrificed --- quite willingly --- a beautiful spring Sunday
afternoon on the altar of KINGDOM COME, Tim Green's latest and
perhaps penultimate novel. Green has always been a competent and
constantly improving wordsmith, but nothing he has done before has
foreshadowed the addictive readability of this work.
The plot is a loose modernization of MACBETH, a fact that Green
reveals early on with an introductory quote from that work as well
as the name of his primary character. Thane Coder has a life that
many, if not most, would envy. He has a fabulous job working for
King Corp, a giant real estate entity that has become one of the
richest, most powerful companies in the United States under the
strong hand of founder James King. Coder also has Jessica, his
beautiful, seductive wife, and a salary that can provide him with
everything he wants. He lives in a dream come true for someone who
came from less-than-humble beginnings.
As he freely confesses, however, this is not enough. When King
announces that he's taking the company public and promoting his son
Scott ahead of Coder, Coder refuses to accept the news. Putting
himself in the pocket of a powerful and corrupt construction union,
Coder --- with Jessica's careful plotting and subtle encouragement
--- murders James and frames Scott for the deed. Things begin
unraveling almost immediately, and not always in the way one might
expect. Coder and Jessica give themselves over to an opulence and
indulgence that quickly corrupts them from within and without.
Killing becomes easier, and as both of them play the FBI and the
union against each other, it slowly becomes clear that they are
headed down an inevitable path of ruin.
Green's pacing is exquisite, particularly in the latter half of the
novel, wherein the pending doom is held at bay even as it dips and
swirls in and out of the story. Green also infuses the climax with
a fine and just symmetry that is not revealed until the very end,
thus leaving the reader satisfied at precisely the right
Whether you are a longtime reader of Green's work or have never
read him before, KINGDOM COME is an imperative addition to your
must-read list. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011