The God of the Hive (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #10)

The God of the Hive (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #10)

by Laurie R. King


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Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, have stirred the wrath of a murderous secret organization bent on infiltrating the government. Now they are separated and on the run, wanted by the police, and pursued across the Continent by a ruthless enemy with limitless resources and powerful connections.

Unstoppable together, Russell and Holmes will have to survive this time apart, maintaining contact only by means of coded messages and cryptic notes. But has the couple made a fatal mistake by separating, making themselves easier targets for the shadowy government agents sent to silence them?

A hermit with a mysterious past and a beautiful young female doctor with a secret, a cruelly scarred flyer and an obsessed man of the cloth: Everyone Russell and Holmes meet could either speed their safe reunion or betray them to their enemies—in the most complex, shocking, and deeply personal case of their career.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553590418
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/09/2011
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series , #10
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 151,866
Product dimensions: 8.04(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen Mary Russell mysteries, five contemporary novels featuring Kate Martinelli, the Stuyvesant & Grey novels Touchstone and The Bones of Paris, and the acclaimed A Darker Place, Folly, and Keeping Watch. She lives in Northern California.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

    A child is a burden, after a mile.  

After two miles in the cold sea air, stumbling through the night up the side of a hill and down again, becoming all too aware of previously unnoticed burns and bruises, and having already put on eight miles that night—half of it carrying a man on a stretcher—evena small, drowsy three-and-a-half-year-old becomes a strain.  

At three miles, aching all over, wincing at the crunch of gravel underfoot, spine tingling with the certain knowledge of a madman's stealthy pursuit, a loud snort broke the silence, so close I could feel it. My nerves screamed as I struggled to draw therevolver without dropping the child. 

  Then the meaning of the snort penetrated the adrenaline blasting my nerves: A mad killer was not about to make that wet noise before attacking.

   I went still. Over my pounding heart came a lesser version of the sound; the rush of relief made me stumble forward to drop my armful atop the low stone wall, just visible in the creeping dawn. The cow jerked back, then ambled towards us in curiosity untilthe child was patting its sloppy nose. I bent my head over her, letting reaction ebb.

   Estelle Adler was the lovely, bright, half-Chinese child of my husband's long-lost son: Sherlock Holmes' granddaughter. I had made her acquaintance little more than two hours before, and known of her existence for less than three weeks, but if the maniacwho had tried to sacrifice her father—and who had apparently intended to take the child for his own—had appeared from the night, I would not hesitate to give my life for hers.  

She had been drugged by said maniac the night before, which no doubt contributed to her drowsiness, but now she studied the cow with an almost academic curiosity, leaning against my arms to examine its white-splashed nose. Which meant that the light wasgrowing too strong to linger. I settled the straps of my rucksack, lumpy with her possessions, and reached to collect this precious and troublesome burden.

   "Are you—" she began, in full voice.

   "Shh!" I interrupted. "We need to whisper, Estelle."  

"Are you tired?" she tried again, in a voice that, although far from a whisper, at least was not as carrying. 

  "My arms are," I breathed in her ear, "but I'm fine."  

"I could ride pickaback," she said.  

"Are you sure?"  

"I do with Papa."  

Well, if she could cling to the back of that tall young man, she could probably hang on to me. I shifted the rucksack around and let her climb onto my back, her little hands gripping my collar. I bent, tucking my arms under her legs, and set off again.  

Much better.

   It was a good thing Estelle knew what to do, because I was probably the most incompetent nurse-maid ever to be put in charge of a child. I knew precisely nothing about children; the only one I had been around for any length of time was an Indian streeturchin three times this one's age and with more maturity than many English adults. I had much to learn about small children. Such as the ability to ride pickaback, and the inability to whisper.

   The child's suggestion allowed me to move faster down the rutted track. We were in the Orkneys, a scatter of islands past the north of Scotland, coming down from the hill that divided the main island's two parts. Every step took us farther away from myhusband; from Estelle's father, Damian; and from the bloody, fire-stained prehistoric altar-stone where Thomas Brothers had nearly killed both of them.  

Why not bring in the police, one might ask. They can be useful, and after all, Brothers had killed at least three others. However, things were complicated—not that complicated wasn't a frequent state of affairs in the vicinity of Sherlock Holmes, butin this case the complication took the form of warrants posted for my husband, his son, and me. Estelle was the only family member not being actively hunted by Scotland Yard.  

Including, apparently and incredibly, Holmes' brother. For forty-odd years, Mycroft Holmes had strolled each morning to a grey office in Whitehall and settled in to a grey job of accounting—even his longtime personal secretary was a grey man, an ageless,sexless individual with the leaking-balloon name of Sosa. Prime Ministers came and went, Victoria gave way to Edward and Edward to George, budgets were slashed and expanded, wars were fought, decades of bureaucrats flourished and died, while Mycroft walkedeach morning to his office and settled to his account books.   Except that Mycroft's grey job was that of eminence grise of the British Empire. He inhabited the shadowy world of Intelligence, but he belonged neither to the domestic Secret Service nor to the international Secret Intelligence Service. Instead, he hadshaped his own department within the walls of Treasury, one that ran parallel to both the domestic branch and the SIS. After forty years, his power was formidable.  

If I stopped to think about it, such unchecked authority in one individual's hands would scare me witless, even though I had made use of it more than once. But if Mycroft Holmes was occasionally cold and always enigmatic, he was also sea-green incorruptible,the fixed point in my universe, the ultimate source of assistance, shelter, information, and knowledge. 

  He was also untouchable, or so I had thought. 

  The day before, a telegram had managed to find me, with a report of Mycroft being questioned by Scotland Yard, and his home raided. It was hard to credit—picturing Mycroft's wrath raining down on Chief Inspector Lestrade came near to making me smile—butuntil I could disprove it, I could not call on Mycroft's assistance. I was on my own.   Were it not for the child on my back, I might have simply presented myself to the police station in Kirkwall and used the time behind bars to catch up on sleep. I was certain that the warrants had only been issued because of Chief Inspector John Lestrade'spique—even at the best of times, Lestrade disapproved of civilians like us interfering in an official investigation. Once his point was made and his temper faded, we would be freed.  

Then again, were it not for the child, I would not be on this side of the island at all. I would have stayed at the Stones, where even now my training and instincts were shouting that I belonged, hunting down Brothers before he could sail off and starthis dangerous religion anew in some other place.  

This concept of women and children fleeing danger was a thing I did not at all care for.  

But as I said, children are a burden, whether three years old or thirty. My only hope of sorting this out peacefully, without inflicting further trauma on the child or locking her disastrously claustrophobic and seriously wounded father behind bars, wasto avoid the police, both here and in the British mainland. And my only hope of avoiding the Orcadian police was a flimsy, sputtering, freezing cold aeroplane. The same machine in which I had arrived on Orkney the previous afternoon, and sworn never to enteragain.  

The aeroplane's pilot was an American ex-RAF flyer named Javitz, who had brought me on a literally whirlwind trip from London and left me in a field south of Orkney's main town. Or rather, I had left him. I thought he would stay there until I reappeared.  

I hoped he would.        

Chapter Two

The wind was not as powerful as it had been the day before, crossing from Thurso, but it rose with the sun, and the seas rose with it. By full light, all the fittings in the Fifie's cabin were rattling wildly, and although Damian's arm was bound to hisside, half an hour out of Orkney the toss and fret of the fifty-footlong boat was making him hiss with pain. When the heap of blankets and spare clothing keeping him warm was pulled away, the dressings showed scarlet.   Sherlock Holmes rearranged the insulation around his son and tossed another scoop of coal onto the stove before climbing the open companionway to the deck. The young captain looked as if he was clinging to the wheel as much as he was controlling it. Holmesraised his voice against the wind.  

"Mr Gordon, is there nothing we can do to calm the boat?"  

The young man took his eyes from the sails long enough to confirm the unexpected note of concern in the older man's voice, then studied the waves and the rigging overhead. "Only thing we could do is change course. To sail with the wind, y'see?" 

  Holmes saw. Coming out of Scapa Flow, they had aimed for Strathy, farther west along the coast of northern Scotland—in truth, any village but Thurso would do, so long as it had some kind of medical facility.  

But going west meant battling wind and sea: Even unladen, the boat had waves breaking across her bow, and the dip and rise of her fifty-foot length was troubling even to the unwounded on board. 

  Thurso was close and it would have a doctor; however, he and Russell had both passed through that town the day before, and although the unkempt Englishman who hired a fishing boat to sail into a storm might have escaped official notice, rumour of a youngwoman in an aeroplane would have spread. He hoped Russell would instruct her American pilot to avoid Thurso, but if not—well, the worst she could expect was an inconvenient arrest. He, on the other hand, dared not risk sailing into constabulary arms.  

"Very well," he said. "Change course." 

  "Thurso, good." Gordon sounded relieved.  

"No. Wick." A fishing town, big enough to have a doctor—perhaps even a rudimentary hospital. Police, too, of course, but warrants or not, what village constable would take note of one fishing boat in a harbour full of them?  

"Wick? Oh, but I don't know anyone there. My cousin in Strathy—" 

  "The lad will be dead by Strathy."

   "Wick's farther."  

"But calmer."  

Gordon thought for a moment, then nodded. "Take that line. Be ready when I say."    

   The change of tack quieted the boat's wallow considerably. When Holmes descended again to the cabin, the stillness made him take two quick steps to the bunk—but it was merely sleep. 

  The madman's bullet had circled along Damian's ribs, cracking at least one, before burying itself in the musculature around the shoulder blade—too deep for amateur excavation. Had it been the left arm, Holmes might have risked it, but Damian was an artist,a right-handed artist, an artist whose technique required precise motions with the most delicate control. Digging through muscle and nerve for a piece of lead could turn the lad into a former artist.  

Were Watson here, Holmes would permit his old friend to take out his scalpel, even considering the faint hand tremor he'd seen the last time they had met. But Watson was on his way home from Australia—Holmes suspected a new lady friend—and was at themoment somewhere in the Indian Ocean. 

  He could only hope that Wick's medical man had steady hands and didn't drink. If they were not so fortunate, he should have to face the distressing option of coming to the surface to summon a real surgeon.  

Which would Damian hate more: the loss of his skill, or the loss of his freedom?  

It was not really a question. Even now, Holmes knew that if he were to remove the wedge holding the cabin's hatch open, in minutes Damian would be sweating with horror and struggling to rise, to breathe, to flee.  

No: A painter robbed of his technique could form another life for himself; a man driven insane by confinement could not. If they found no help in Wick, he might have to turn surgeon.  

The thought made his gut run cold. Not the surgery itself—he'd done worse—but the idea of Damian's expression when he tried to control a brush, and could not.

Imagine: Sherlock Holmes dodging responsibility.  

Standing over his son's form, he became aware of the most peculiar sensation, disturbingly primitive and almost entirely foreign.  

Reverend Thomas Brothers (or James Harmony Hayden or Henry Smythe or whatever names he had claimed) lay dead among the standing stone circle. But had the corpse been to hand, Sherlock Holmes would have ripped out the mad bastard's heart and savagely kickedhis remains across the deck and into the sea.

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God of the Hive 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 139 reviews.
Michele-from-Maine More than 1 year ago
Deliciously creepy. Seriously delicious. I love several things about Ms. King's style. I love the mix of 1st person (Mary Russell's chapters) and the 3rd (everyone else). I love that the memoirish intimacy of the 1st person chapters does not prevent, but enhances the story-telling intimacy of the 3rd person chapters. I love that she introduces new characters that make you sorry that you haven't met them before now. This book, in particular, introduces several intriguing new characters. (Especially one!) I love that her characters are as smart as they are made out to be. Obviously Ms. King is wickedly clever and intelligent herself or her stories and characters couldn't hold up to their promise. I am always a little wary of new entries in a series based at least in part on the partnership/relationship between a pair in which the partners are separated, but as always, Ms. King finds a way. Russell and Holmes find ways to communicate and their enforced separation merely heightens the sense that they are at opposite ends of a gradually stretching rubber band, and when, as must happen, the rubber band snaps back to its regular position in the final chapters of the book, it gives the ending a new snap and energy. As I said, Ms. King is smart, and has heart. Great mystery. A great week for me, teaching teenagers, raising daughters, making dinners, helping neighbors...but going home to a...really. good. read.
Dr-Felicia More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Laurie King's novels and await each new one with a combination of anticipation and trepidation. All have enthralled me and the God of the Hive is no exception. Her previous Russell/Holmes novel ended in a cliffhanger which this novel completes. Set post World War I, as are so many contemporary mystery novels, God of the Hive presents us with a remarkable new character, a shell shocked veteran who has metamorphosed into someone very like the Green Man of legend who dances and tootles his way through the grim events as Holmes and Russell are forced to split up each operating alone as they face their most diabolical foe yet. Holmes, Russell and Mycroft must fight for their own lives as those of Holmes' new found son and elfin grandchild. As always the suspense is ladled out in rich literate prose. I am a professor of literature and King is an author that I binge on and recommend to students.
jdstri More than 1 year ago
As usual, Laurie R King brings an informative and dramatic ending to her latest tale of Holmes and Russell. I find that Ms King's stories are both exciting and educational and every book brings a different perspective to religious studies, in this case the role that cults may take in our society. Russell, as always, is the strong adventurous woman who is also aware of her weaknesses and Holmes still bears all the characteristics with which we have become familiar through Conan Doyle. I like the way that Mycroft has developed and the relationship that they all have with Lestrade of Scotland Yard. As a British citizen, living in the San Francisco Bay area for the past nine years I have found Ms. Kings novels particularly close to my heart and look forward to the next installment.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1924, married couple Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes survived the murderous cult that they got involved with as they resolved the mysterious Language of Bees. Both hope the terror is over, but they will soon learn it has just begun. Reverend Thomas Brothers believes he can harness psychic energies through human sacrifice. As such he shoots Holmes's son, Damian Adler. With his offspring dying, Holmes' rushes off to Holland for specialized medical care to save the life of his son. At the same time Mary tries to protect her husband's granddaughter Estelle from Brothers and his fanatical cohorts. Nothing seems to go right for either one of the couple as danger is everywhere in England and on the continent. This direct sequel to the Language of the Bees is a tense historical suspense thriller in which the couple separated and learns that the sum is greater than the two parts. The story line is fast-paced from start to finish with plenty of danger assaulting the lead couple in their separate subplots. Although each obtains too much help expediting them from on peril after another, The God of the Hive is an entertaining Russell-Holmes 1920s thriller. Harriet Klausner
HappyNook More than 1 year ago
This book is another amazing Mary Russell series from author Laurie R. King. Each one has a rich plot. Each one takes you deeper into the main characters and each one seems to have been given as much time and care in the research and writing as the previous books in the series. I particularly liked learning more about Sherlock's brother Mycroft and his world in this one.
murflaw More than 1 year ago
I am a Mary Russell/Holmes addict for sure. Lauri R. King is so gifted as a writer. This current book did not leave me disappointed. After so many exceptionally good books in this series, you would think it would be difficult for Ms. King to come up with ideas. However, I was gripped from the first chapter. As always, King's descriptive style makes you feel like you are there. Russell and Holmes entertain another adventure that is extremely personal in this book. A lot of their detecting is done separately (physically apart). The introduction of a Puckish character makes this read all the more enigmatic and lends some much-needed humor, at times. Of course, there are some dastardly people that you love to hate. This book is a continuation of her last Russell/Holmes adventure. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The publishers are charging $5 more for the e-book than the member price of the hardback. Another book that I would have once have bought for for the pleasure of reading straight away but now I will either wait for a library copy or spend my time finding an author from a non agency publishing house. These prices have made me realise that my spending on books needed to be reigned in and that I dont get pleasure from reading a book if I feel ripped off by the price.. How does loosing sales (and readers) like this make sense?
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! But first, do not read this book without reading The Language of Bees. As I mentioned in my review of that book, I was annoyed that it was sold without revealing that it was the first of two parts. This is the second part and will not make sense without the first. This, however, is much better -- and the two together are excellent. This has all the excitement of a classic Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes story, reverting back to the excellence of the series. While I might have liked a little more interaction with Mary and Sherlock, she makes up for it with, whether she meant to or not, an homage to the Peter Wimsey stories---as a pivotal character in this volume is a son of an Earl who experiences major war time trauma. While Peter Wimsey recovered, he might not have--and would have become the the Goodman character here who actually entices Mary to stand up to her brother-in-law's strong desire. Without giving away more, definitely do read this if you've read the first volume and the two together for an excellent story.
CarolO on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mary Russell takes the center stage in this most recent installment. The story skips around a bit more then usual, alternating between the different characters, but always focuses back on Mary. Something devious is going on and Mary is hobbled in her investigation by her responsibility for a 3 year old child, a wounded pilot, and an enigmatic wood nymph. Woven through the book is the question of loyalty. Loyalty is explored between friends, lovers, family, and colleagues. Who is loyal to their country? Who can be trusted?
Readerwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the God of the Hive in one sitting - well, one laying, as I read it in bed! Thank you Library Thing for your early reviewer program that sent me this book!Review:This book is the second of a trilogy in the middle of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. If you have never read ANY of the Mary Russell's, don't start here! At least go to the first book of this trilogy, Language of the Bees. This is a fabulous series; innovative, clever, erudite and completely readable. The God of the Hive is no different. It is hard to write a review without spoilers, so I will say that as with Language of the Bees, Mary and Sherlock spend a lot of time apart in the novel, each working their own end of a family dilemma. The villain is worthy of the title once worn by Moriarty, and great appearances are made by former irregular Billy, and a wonderful new character, "Robert Goodman."As a lifelong fan of Sherlock Holmes in all his many guises by different authors, King does the best in keeping true to the oeuvre - I worry a bit about Sherlock's aging, and the dynamics of the fairly new characters, Damian Adler and his daughter.Overall, as usual, this book left me thirsting for more. I am addressing that longing by re-reading Language of the Bees and my favorite Russell/Holmes - Locked Rooms.Wishing you the joy of reading!
Tricoteuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read, and loved, all of the previous Mary Russell books so I was inclined to like this one before I picked it up and it didn't disappoint. I love the character of Mary, and my only possible criticism is that there were too many scenes without her. Because this plot closely follows on the book that preceded it, I would definitely recommend reading that one first. It's almost a single story in two parts. I particularly liked some of the twists in this book, which I definitely didn't see coming.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hate spoilers in reviews, and find it hard to write this without giving a spoiler. I loved this book. Typical of Laurie R. King to draw me right into the story within two paragraphs. Truly, I was kept in the dark for much of this tale. I knew what I wanted to happen, but I wasn't sure it would. The character of Robert Goodman was well done; he was the epitome of so many damaged souls after WWI. There is some moralizing about spy craft, and though I don't think the author brought anything new to the debate, she did represent both controversial sides. I enjoyed Russell and Holmes in their new roles and look forward to more adventures, perhaps including some of the new cast of characters. This is all I can give you here. Read and enjoy!After reading the other reviews, I need to add something. I didn't realize until I read them, that somehow, I had missed one of the Russell stories! I have not read "The Language of Bees." I did not miss it reading this, I simply thought it a great way to jump into a story and fill in the bits as you go. Now, of course, I will have to go buy "The Language of Bees," but don't let it stop you reading this if you haven't read that one yet.
Philotera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mary Russell is back, and so is that man she's married to, what was his name again? Oh yes. Sherlock Holmes. It says a great deal about a character when she is able to hold her own, I hesitate to say against, but certainly with, the indominitable Holmes. Mary Russell (or Russell as she is known by her spouse and through the books) would give Irene Adler pause. A formidable young Jewish woman, Russell is a theological scholar in her own right, and woman with a mean throwing arm. I was delighted beyond measure to find her at the top of her form in the twisty second parter, and conclusion, to the Language of Bees. It took me a while to remember where we left our gallant duo, as a I was forced to abandon them in the Orkneys a year ago and much has happend in my own life since then. More, almost, ,even than theirs. So I was curious when I took up my copy to see how much I would remember, and if it would be possible to consider this book a standalone.God of the Hive is defnitely not a standalone. Without having read "Language of the Bees" prior I would have been lost in people and evnets, and even so, with a year in between it was still tricky. Reader, if you have time and patience, I recommend reading the previous volume first. It will help you.Once those bumps in the road were past, a fascinating new character was introduced, a shocking plot twist stopped my heart,, and villains dispatched. it was extremely satisfying and elegantly phrased. It is one of literatures' great pleasures to meet a personality between the pages that you wish you could meet in person. I would love to have Russell over for dinner, without her great spouse. I would love to get her opinion on the latest translationof the Septuagint, for I'm sure she has one. Discover what she thinks about the spread of synagogues in Egypt and Syria, pre or post the second temple destruction. Alas it is never to be. She shall keep her distance, and I, like Watson's 19th century readers, shall avidly await her amaneusis' next installment.
jennieg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Those who were unhappy with the cliffhanger ending of The Language of Bees can relax. In Laurie King's capable hands the story comes to a satisfying conclusion. I don't want to have spoilers in a review. Suffice it to say there are a number of twists and wonderful characters. I hope we'll see more of those introduced here. I'm looking forward to more Holmes and Russell.
mamajoan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The God of the Hive begins immediately where The Language of Bees ended; King does a good job of getting the reader up to speed, so it should be possible to jump right in if you aren't a "read series in order" fanatic like I am.We begin, as I said, where the previous book left off; following a confrontation in Scotland, Holmes has fled to the ocean with the injured Damian, and Russell is left to flee England-ward with little Estelle. Meanwhile, both Holmes and Russell are preoccupied with worrying about the rumored arrest of Mycroft and what it might mean to the state of political affairs in London. In short order King introduces a few new characters, including the lady doctor who patches Damian up; a mysterious woodsman who takes in Russell, Estelle, and their pilot after their airplane gives out on them (again); and a mysterious government figure who apparently has a vendetta against Mycroft Holmes. As usual, King crafts an action-packed story full of little details that really make the whole thing come alive. Separately, Holmes and Russell wander all over the place, having various adventures as they try to simultaneously evade the law, contact each other, and find out what's up with Mycroft. Meanwhile, we get new insight into Mycroft's character in a few scenes set in London, where he is contending with his mysterious opponent.I try not to give away too much in my reviews, so let me just say that King pulls a pretty clever bait-and-switch as the "bad guy" of the story turns out not to be who you might have expected, and characters both familiar and new reveal surprising depths. The newly introduced characters get somewhat uneven development - a lot of care goes into the Goodman character, but the doctor and the government agent (not to mention Mycroft's secretary and confidant) get somewhat shorter shrift.A couple of interesting themes run through this book, as well as its predecessor. One is the theme of Holmes (and Mycroft) getting older. The scenes from Holmes's point of view make repeated reference to him feeling his age, both physically and mentally. One wonders whether King is starting to lay the groundwork for the eventual, inevitable demise of the master detective. After all, Holmes may be fabulously gifted, but he's still mortal.The other theme relates to Russell's interactions with the little girl Estelle. Russell makes numerous references to her own lack of experience with small children, and learns a lot about parenting during her time in charge of Estelle: what it's like to hug/cuddle a child; how heavy they can be; how stubborn they can be; the peculiar mixture of love and dread that comes from being wholly responsible for the wellbeing of a little one. Obviously I don't know whether King is planning to go anywhere with this, but it could be interesting to see how both Holmes and Russell work out their feelings around the addition of Damian and Estelle to their lives.Overall The God of the Hive is a great read and a worthy addition to the Holmes/Russell "canon." Thanks LibraryThing for giving me the opportunity to Early-Review it!
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tenth in King's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, it is also the continuation of the book before it, the Language of Bees. King is one of my favorite authors, and I make it sort of a game to see if this time she'll fall prey to some of the problems other writers have. In The Language of Bees, I was somewhat concerned that she might be creating a villain she liked too much and would keep writing about past the point of good writing. She doesn't fall into the trap. In The God of the Hive, that villain is slowly revealed as the tool of an even greater villain. The stakes are high... not only is Sherlock's son and granddaughter in great danger, but so is Mycroft, Sherlock's brother. And when Mycroft is in danger, so is the British Empire.The plot is handled masterfully. The action never stops, in part because it splits, following Mary Russell as she takes care of Holmes' granddaughter and they flee from danger with the pilot she hired in the Language of Bees and Sherlock fleeing separately with his gravely-wounded son who is in danger from the police. In London, Mycroft has been interrogated by the police and seems to be in danger both physically and of losing his position.Another winner from King. Recommend having both The Language of Bees and The God of the Hive together and reading them as one long volume.
tangential1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 'to be continued' at the end of the last book pertains more to this one, I think...meaning if you haven't read 'The Language of Bees' already, you're going to be seriously confused reading this one because the action picks up directly. I absolutely loved the new characters in this book. Robert Goodman was awesome, bringing just the right amount of whimsy to this otherwise nail-biting story. It was amazing how much I grew to love him in such a short period; definitely one of LRKs best side characters. Russell and Holmes aren't together nearly enough for my liking, though; especially since they spent the entire previous book separated as well. One of my favorite parts of the Russell books is their interaction, so this one felt like it was lacking just a little bit and I can pin that whole feeling on their being separated. The epilogue was a little bit trite, bit it kind of had to a balm for rattled nerves/emotions.Overall, though, another excellent book from Ms. King!
Readanon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy the books Laurie R. King writes - she give them that little extra something that makes them especially fun to read. I got hooked on her Kate Martinelli books, and this is the third Mary Russell - now I must go back and read the ones I have missed (I just recently started buying the ones I was missing). I really look forward to catching up on this series and reading everything else she writes in the future!
lmikkel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There was some nice symmetry at work in my experience with God of the Hive. I felt somewhat ripped off by The Language of Bees: after 300+ pages of action the book ended with no resolution. God of the Hive is not a sequel it is a continuation. I wasn't going to bother to read God of the Hive and then I won it through Early Reviewers. Again, it is not a sequel or a stand alone, it is volume 2 of Language of Bees. I have been a fan of Laurie R. King since Beekeeper's Apprentice. I have enjoyed reading all of the Russell/Holmes books. Now I find myself rather less enthusiastic. The books are character driven and the characters are great. The plots have become increasingly complicated and convoluted and I find myself slogging through just to get at the relationships between Holmes, Russell and all their cohorts. Having said that, the series will still attract faithful readers. New fans should definitely start at the beginning in order to get the full enjoyment of the series.
Camellia1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had a little trouble getting to the God of the Hive. I think this was because the action in this book picks up immediately where the previous book (The Language of Bees) left off, and it had been quite a while since I read that one. Laurie King does do a good job of letting the reader know what is going on, and before too long, I was enjoying myself thoroughly. Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell are separated for most of the book, as they attempt to protect Holmes' child and grandchild. While the adventure was fun and had lots of excitement, this was not my favorite in the series. However, it is still a very good book in what is one of my favorite mystery series.
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With this book, I feel that the series has reached a turning point. Laurie R. King has grown as a writer, Mary Russell has grown as a character, and the books have become something bigger than they were before.Don¿t get me wrong. I love the earlier books. The first three in particular are my absolute favorites. I was sorry when the books moved away from Russell¿s personal journey (while still having a great story to tell, of course), and rejoiced when they returned to that territory with Locked Rooms. I do regret that it really isn¿t consistent with Russell¿s character for all the following books to concentrate on this.However, if this book is representative of where the books are going, I¿m not going to notice that I¿m missing anything.The God of the Hive is much grander in scale then the earlier books, in spite of covering much less geography then some of its predecessors. I loved the exploration of Mycroft, both as an individual and as a part of the government. I hesitate to say that the focus of this book is political in nature, but I think that it is. It¿s the kind of politics involved in how the world works, how power flows, and how small actions can snowball into bigger consequences.The book is still character driven, and I found Robert Goodman (the Green Man of the working title of the book) to be one of the most interesting I have read in the series (after Russell and Holmes, of course). The effect of the events that occurred in The Language of Bees as well as The God of the Hive on Russell and Holmes isn¿t neglected either.I was concerned about the role the child Estelle would play, but she was handled well.The book effectively wraps up the threads dangling at the end of The Language of Bees (and has a much more satisfying ending). I think much of my discomfort at The Language of Bees had to do with the nature of the transition of the series.I strongly recommend this book to those that have been following the series. If you haven¿t, I¿d suggest reading at least the previous book, The Language of Bees. Better yet, star with the first book of the series, The Beekeeper¿s Apprentice, and then decide if you want to continue to make your way through each book, or if you want to skip forward to these two most recent books.
SockMonkeyGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am not usually a mystery reader. I find that most are either too easily figured out or full of too much gore. I have read all of the Mary Russell books, however, because I found the premise interesting and the characters enjoyable. That has not changed.I have, however, mixed feelings about this installation. Generally, King finishes the story that she starts in each book. But not this time. In The Language of Bees, King created a suspenseful storyline featuring Holmes' long lost son and a crazy cult leader. I was a bit shocked to reach the end and find a cliffhanger, with Russell and Holmes separated, the villain still alive and deeds stirring back in London with Mycroft.Spoilers ahead:The God of the Hive starts exactly where Bees ended, with everyone on the run and the added information that Mycroft is being held hostage. This storyline adds a new villain. It is also what I had the biggest problem with. Almost immediately, the previous villain, Brothers, after King making a big point that he survived, is killed off by Peter James West. Honestly, it seems that Brothers survived merely as a means of introducing us to West. West is an under-developed, under-utilized mastermind. Because Holmes and Russell spend the majority of the time on the run, there is less investigating happening than usual. We actually see it all happen from third person points of view. But because of the fractured focus, much of the detailed background information discovered by investigation is lost. There is a storyline with the dagger that is never really explored. West, for a mastermind brilliant and powerful enough to have set in motion all he did, remains oddly flat. There is more to the plot, but I don't want to give everything away despite my spoilers warning. What it came down to was, in the end, it felt like King could have either added some more to this book, to truly flesh out the new plot lines, or could have edited both volumes to fit into one complete book. This book felt almost like a very extended prologue of the previous one. I enjoyed this book. I really did. I liked seeing more of Holmes' point of view. I also liked getting to know Mycroft a bit better. I even enjoyed Javitz (although he did seem more of a convenience than a fully fleshed character in this book) and Robert. But it had some flaws. I would definitely not recommend this volume for anyone new to the series but continuing readers will enjoy it.
BarbN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a nice present from Library Thing--a night of insomnia! Just kidding, it was a pleasure to read this book almost all night, and then dream about it so I had to finish it in the early morning hours before work. I think this book ranks among the better novels King has written, more than part due to her fascinating character of Robert Goodman; part Green Man, part Holy Fool, an instinctive detective who lives very much outside the mainstream, and partners with Russell perhaps better than Holmes ever did, at least for a while. My only reason for four stars rather than 5 was an overuse of literary devices--I will not say what the plot devices were to avoid spoilers--and perhaps less sense of place that Russell brings to what to me are her best novels, such as Locked Rooms. But King's writing and characterizations remain compelling, and the book will reward both a quick read (almost impossible to avoid, because of some very real suspense) and a slower more indulgent re-read for the sheer pleasure of it.
GarySeverance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a teenager, I read all of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson. The eccentric sleuth and the doctor were interesting characters, and so was the locale, exotic London and other scenes of Great Britain and the world. Now, after all these years, I learn that Sherlock married Mary Russell and has a son, Damian. Also his somewhat estranged brother Mycroft has come to play a larger role in the mystery stories. Mary Russell narrates a rousing tale in The God of the Hive involving murder, deception, treason, and a bending of ethics by the virtuous with the ends justifying the means. Dr. Watson is out of the picture, and Holmes plays a relatively minor part in the story. The action takes place in Scotland, Holland, and London with references to events that took place in the Shanghai and America. There is plenty of action with dangerous exploits and diversions. The historical period of the 1920s is sketched within the context of post World War I Britain and Europe. The novel is well-structured and written very much like my memory of the style of Arthur Conan Doyle. In fact, I found myself drifting off the page mid sentence and then returning, just as I did years ago because of the rather formal descriptive prose of then Doyle and now King. The dialog is good from an early 21st Century viewpoint, but jars the ear a bit in comparison with the original 20th Century stories. The tenth novel in Ms. King's Mary Russell series is self-contained, all of the information necessary to enjoy the novel is presented. For fans of the Sherlock Holmes tales of old, the feminine voice of the narrator prevents disappointing comparisons with the voice of Dr. Watson. There is good continuation of the series with many brief references to past events involving Holmes' cases and the relationship with his wife and brother. For new readers, the novel stimulates interest in the original Sherlock Holmes stories and in the nine previous novels in Ms. King's series. The author's emphasis on pacifism and environmentalism is dominant as represented in the "Green Man" myth personified by the character Robert Goodman. The themes are presented rather heavy-handedly in the novel and did not seem to be fully integrated into the story. I enjoyed reading the novel and observing the efforts Ms. King makes to involve readers in a social group via Twitter and her own website.
LizzieD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh dear. Somebody changed. Was it Laurie King or LizzieD? I can't quite tell.....I loved the Russell/Holmes books when they first appeared and read about half of them before they began to pall. Ms. King's writing remains facile, Mary and Sherlock and company are still engaging, but I found more fault than pleasure in The God of the Hive. Because I was familiar with the characters, I didn't have trouble entering into the spirit of the chase even though I hadn't read The Language of Bees, The Hive's immediate predecessor. This is not one for an uninitiated reader though.Mary and Holmes's granddaughter Estelle find themselves cast on the mercy of one Robert Goodman, an elemental spirit type when their plane crashes in the Lake District. I enjoyed their interlude with Goodman. I enjoyed Holmes's interlude in Holland with his son and a kidnapped woman doctor. I was less patient with the villain of the piece who was so sketchily drawn as to be the stereotype of a criminal mastermind. And I was much less than satisfied by the epilogue which lost the book a half star.Thank you, ER, for giving me a chance with this. At some point I'll return to the early books to discover which of us has changed.