Michelle Ryles's Reviews > The Hive

The Hive by Jane Holland
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it was amazing
bookshelves: galleys-read

Anyone who enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will know what I mean when I say that the magic of a book is so often in the quirkiness and originality of the character; a character who is not the most popular in real life but one who finds a special place in the heart of every single reader who picks up the book. This is how I felt about Charlotte in The Hive, the likes of which I have only ever experienced before in Eleanor Oliphant. Don't mistake The Hive as being similar to Eleanor Oliphant as quirkiness aside, Charlotte's life is about to get very bad indeed.

Charlotte is a character who I understood immediately as we share many of the same anti-social traits. Charlotte is definitely not a people person, although this is more due to her circumstances than an inbuilt character trait; she avoids people in an attempt to avoid attention being drawn to her facial scars caused by getting burnt in the fireplace as a young child. She works as a data analyst and has an affinity for number patterns but she doesn't think she can progress in her job as she says: 'Numbers, I can handle. People, I can't.' I'm right there with you, Charlotte! Numbers and I...we go way back!

Charlotte returns from holiday with her boyfriend to discover that her mother has committed suicide. Charlotte's father is suffering from Alzheimer's and thinks his wife is still alive, so he can't help Charlotte put together the missing pieces to find out what led up to her mother's death. The key to the puzzle seems to lie in a mysterious parcel that was delivered on the day of Charlotte's return: a display case of dead bees. As disturbing as this is, it becomes even more scary when Charlotte starts to hear the buzz buzz buzz.

Creepy right? I'm not a huge fan of stripy flying insects so it had my skin crawling at not only the thought of the dead bees in the house but the buzzing noises. I could imagine the house tumbling down around Charlotte and a million bees swarming out from the rubble. She's a braver gal than I when she ventures into the loft with her boyfriend; of course I have a ladder phobia so I couldn't have gone up there anyway. The mystery of the bees deepens when she finds an old photo of her father in a beekeeper's outfit with the name 'Bee Hive Cottage' on the back. To find out what happened to her mother, she must go back to her father's past but what she finds there is more horrifying than a gigantic swarm of bees.

What an outstanding book! It really kept me on my toes and kept me constantly guessing as it went in a completely surprising direction, making it a lot darker than I expected. Jane Holland is a new author to me and one I definitely plan to read more from. I don't know how I haven't come across her before now; I must have literally had my head in a book!

The Hive is as creepy, terrifying and dark as it is compelling, gripping and impossible to put down. As scared as I was at times, I couldn't take my eyes off the page and found my eyes trying to sneakily jump ahead as my brain wasn't reading fast enough. A bee-rilliant thriller (I had to get a pun in somewhere) that had me on the edge of my seat and scratching my crawling skin.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Reading Progress

September 27, 2019 – Shelved
September 27, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
September 28, 2019 – Started Reading
September 28, 2019 – Shelved as: galleys-read
September 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

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