13 February 2013

The Language of Bees (Mary Russell #9)/The God of the Hive (Mary Russell #10)

Summary from Goodreads:
For Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, returning to the Sussex coast after seven months abroad was especially sweet. There was even a mystery to solve - the unexplained disappearance of an entire colony of bees from one of Holmes’s beloved hives.
But the anticipated sweetness of their homecoming is quickly tempered by a galling memory from the past. Mary had met Damian Adler only once before, when the surrealist painter had been charged with - and exonerated from - murder. Now the troubled young man is enlisting the Holmeses’ help again, this time in a desperate search for his missing wife and child.

Mary has often observed that there are many kinds of madness, and before this case yields its shattering solution she’ll come into dangerous contact with a fair number of them. From suicides at Stonehenge to the dark secrets of a young woman’s past on the streets of Shanghai, Mary will find herself on the trail of a killer more dangerous than any she’s ever faced - a killer Sherlock Holmes himself may be protecting for reasons near and dear to his heart.

Summary from Goodreads:
In Laurie R. King’s latest Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mystery, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author delivers a thriller of ingenious surprises and unrelenting suspense - as the famous husband and wife sleuths are pursued by a killer immune from the sting of justice.

It began as a problem in one of Holmes’ beloved beehives, led to a murderous cult, and ended - or so they’d hoped - with a daring escape from a sacrificial altar. Instead, Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, have stirred the wrath and the limitless resources of those they’ve thwarted. Now they are separated and on the run, wanted by the police, and pursued across the Continent by a ruthless enemy with powerful connections.

Unstoppable together, Russell and Holmes will have to survive this time apart, maintaining tenuous contact only by means of coded messages and cryptic notes. With Holmes’ young granddaughter in her safekeeping, Russell will have to call on instincts she didn’t know she had. But has the couple already made a fatal mistake by separating, making themselves easier targets for the shadowy government agents sent to silence them?

From hidden rooms in London shops and rustic forest cabins to rickety planes over Scotland and boats on the frozen North Sea, Russell and Holmes work their way back to each other while uncovering answers to a mystery that will take both of them to solve. 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, Holmes’ brother, Mycroft, and an Intelligence agent who knows too much: 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.

Well, I have to put The Language of Bees and The God of the Hive together because The Language of Bees is the first of the Russell/Holmes books to end with an actual cliff-hanger and I couldn't wait to get back to the library to pick up The God of the Hive.  These two entries in the series are crazy and veer all over England to sort out why and how Damian's wife and daughter have disappeared.  Unfortunately, the separation of Mary and Holmes in The God of the Hive takes away one thing I absolutely love in this series - the interplay between the two characters; keeping them apart for so much of the book actually pulls the plot down but it picks back up when they come together.  There's a strange perspective change to that of a bird in the cemetery that feels really forced.  I did love how disillusioned Mary becomes with Mycroft...and she has grounds, believe me (cf. The Game).

I might be on series burn-out so I'm going to take a break from Mary and Holmes.

Dear FTC: I borrowed these from the library.

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