(Reviewed by Eleanor Bukowsky JUN 4, 2006)
“I never thought I could kill anyone. don’t mean in a rage, or in self-defense, or in a war. I mean killing someone to get what you want. That wasn’t me. But even the best of us has that bad side. I’m not saying I was the best, but I wasn’t the worst either. I think I was about where most people are. It was the situation.”
Tim Green's stunning thriller, Kingdom Come, is a chilling cautionary tale based loosely on Shakespeare's classic tragedy, Macbeth. Thane Coder, along with Scott King and Ben Evans, have been close friends since their days as college football players. Scott's father, James, is the head of King Corp, and years ago, Scott gave Ben and Thane jobs in his father's company. King Corp is now launching a multi-million dollar construction project, but there may be trouble ahead. A vicious sociopath named John Garret, known as Johnny G, works for a mob-controlled union. He is demanding enormous kickbacks, or his union will do all in its power to sabotage the project.
To make matters worse, James King disappoints Thane by withholding a promised windfall of much needed funds that Thane was counting on to get him out of debt. Jessica, Thane's ambitious, beautiful, and seductive wife, hatches a labyrinthine scheme that she hopes will make them fabulously rich. Thane has always followed Jessica’s lead, and, against his better judgment, he goes along with her plan.
Kingdom Come works on several levels. First, it is psychological horror story about two previously law-abiding people who lose all sense of perspective and commit unspeakable acts to get what they want. Much as the Macbeths did, the Coders rationalize their criminal behavior. Green explores how an ordinary man and woman from humble roots, who have a nice home, a beautiful child, social status, and good friends, gradually change into monsters. Thane and Jessica are fully realized villains whose dysfunctional childhoods helped mold them into selfish and amoral adults.
The book is also a detailed look at the inner workings of a large corporation. Green effectively depicts how the men at the top fight one another for financial and political control. The heads of large businesses walk a fine line in their dealings with worried bankers, powerful and sometimes corrupt unions, and nervous shareholders, and when millions are at stake, anything can happen, including murder.
Finally, this is a suspenseful and beautifully constructed mystery in which the reader learns that Thane Coder's narration is not entirely reliable, and as the facts gradually emerge, we learn the full extent of his fall from grace. Kingdom Come features some well-drawn secondary characters, including two female FBI agents (whom Thane dubs “witches,” more shades of Macbeth). Then there is Bucky Lainhart, a hunting guide who works for James. Bucky is a relentless tracker who never lets his prey escape, and he plays an important role in the book’s nightmarish and unforgettable conclusion. Kingdom Come is a terrific read and it is easily one of the best thrillers of the year.
- Amazon readers rating: from 20 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
- Ruffians (1993)
- Titans (1994)
- Outlaws (1996)
- The Red Zone (1997)
- Double Reverse (1998)
- The Letter of the Law (2000)
- The Fourth Perimeter (2002)
- The Fifth Angel (2003)
- The First 48 (2004)
- Exact Revenge (May 2005)
- Kingdom Come (April 2006)
- American Outrage (April 2007)
- Above the Law (February 2009)
- The Dark Side of the Game: My Life in the NFL (1996)
- A Man and His Mother: An Adopted Son's Search (1997)
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About the Author:
Tim Green begin writing while at Syracuse University where he was a Rossman Scholar for Humanities, a Syracuse Scholar, An NCAA Top Six Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, and co-valedictorian of his class. While studying English Literature, Tim became acquainted with the renown minimalist, Raymond Carver, and had the opportunity to study under the award-winning writer and professor, Tobias Wolff.
He also played football for the Syracuse Orangemen and was an all-American defensive end, where he led the historically successful football program back to national prominence. On the strength of his stellar college football years, Tim became a coveted first-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons and was a star defensive end for eight seasons. He was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
While playing for the NFL, he begin his career as a weekly commentator for National Public Radio and wrote articles for USA Today, After his playing career, Tim spent eleven years as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports and recently hosted FOX's nationally syndicated news magazine, A Current Affair. His other broadcast experiences have included ABC Good Morning America's legal commentator, Court TV's Pros and Cons, host of FOX Sports Net's Emmy nominated show NFL TOTAL ACCESS, and Comedy Central's Battlebots.
He is a graduate of Syracuse University Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar.
Green lives with his wife, Illyssa and their four children in Skaneateles, New York.