AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: The Hive by Gregg Olsen


Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Format: Audio
Genre:  Crime Thriller
Narrators: Karen Peakes

Publisher: Brilliance Audio
13 hours 41 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


In the Pacific Northwest, detective Lindsay Jackman is investigating the murder of a young journalist found at the bottom of a ravine. Lindsay soon learns that the victim was writing an exposé. Her subject: a charismatic wellness guru who’s pulled millions into her euphoric orbit…

To hear Marnie Spellman tell it, when she was a child, a swarm of bees lifted her off the ground and toward the sunlight, illuming her spiritual connection with nature—an uncanny event on which Marnie built a cosmetics empire and became a legend, a healer, and the queen of holistic health and eternal beauty. In her inner circle is an intimate band of devotees called the Hive. They share Marnie’s secrets of success—including one cloaked in darkness for twenty years.

Determined to uncover the possibly deadly mysteries of the group, Lindsay focuses her investigation on Marnie and the former members of the Hive, who are just as determined to keep Lindsay from their secrets as they are to maintain their status.


I thought this story had potential but so many of the characters were self-absorbed and only focused on their own ambitions that it became tedious.  Marnie was the worst of them all, the Queen Bee who manipulated everyone for her own causes.  I did however like the police detective investigating the case she was a strong woman who could understand why Marnie was so attractive to so many lost women of her time, even she found herself falling for some of her charms.  However the more she dug the more she uncovered of the devastating acts that The Hive covered up.  

It's hard for me to imagine how spending any amount of time with Marnie wouldn't make you realize what a fraud she is. But then I think that about many cult leaders.  The ending while probably very honest just didn't sit well with me. There are so many connections that link together that it's almost too much to take in.  I'm also not sure if I can see some of what happened actually happening.  There was just too much in the end for me to give this a better rating. 

The narration was strong but the science was not.  There were major forensic mistakes that couldn't be overlooked and science that was not researched well enough.  Sure it brought shock value but it jumped the shark for me. 

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