It is no secret that I am a huge admirer of Laurie King's fiction, whether it be the latest (and now infrequent) Kate Martinelli San Francisco-based police procedurals, the thought-provoking and inventive stand-alone novels, and the now ten-strong series of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes novels, of which The God of the Hive is the latest, and was published in the UK by Allison & Busby on July 5th. There are some of Laurie King's novels that I feel maybe have the edge over others but all, without exception, leave me with a feeling of immense satisfaction at the quality of the story and the writing.
That said my advice on this new Mary Russell novel is to go back and read The Language of Bees before reading The God of the Hive, as this is the closest Laurie King has come to writing what is, in effect, a direct sequel within this series. If you don't, you will certainly feel as if you have 'missed' something of some importance and, this time, you will have done, as the story picks up only an hour or so after The Language of Bees concludes. Unlike some readers, I did find The Language of Bees to be complete in itself, but with the publication of The God of the Hive, the two novels together make for a remarkable and enthralling story.