The Hive by Gregg Olsen

The Hive is an engaging thriller that finds its tension as much in the murders surrounding a cult as the detective investigating the crimes. On the same morning Lindsay Jackman’s long-time partner takes his own life, she gets called to investigate the murder of a young journalist. Sarah had been doing an investigation of her own on a wellness guru centered in there in the Pacific Northwest.

Marnie Spellman insists that her enlightenment comes from an encounter with a swarm of bees when she was young. That connection led to appearances on QVC hawking natural beauty products and a female-centered lifestyle. Lindsay’s initial investigations reveal a cult of personality that brought women from all walks of life to work at Spellman’s farm. Her message was a flip of the patriarchal script, yet there are secrets and money exchanging hands. Marnie’s message isn’t all honey bees and flowers…

Olsen’s attention to details and the chaos of Lindsay’s life (her own marriage has imploded) create such a realistic amalgamation of hopes and dreams. Two murders twenty years apart, a partner’s suicide, and her own life’s disarray. It could be a lot to handle for a reader, but short chapters help to compartmentalize the issues and keep the plot chugging forward.

I think one of the keys to this story are the number of quality red herrings that lie in wait, ha! And he ties in The American Dream, the push for perfection, and greed. It’s as complex a thriller as I have read. This was my first novel my Olsen and I don’t expect it to be my last.

4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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