Can a tendency towards violence against women be inherited? Olivia left her ex-husband twelve years ago when their son, Asher, was only six. Now, Asher’s girlfriend, Lily, has been found dead and Asher has been arrested. Is it a case of the sins of the father revisiting the children? Or is Asher falsely accused? It will take a trial to untangle all the secrets within Mad Honey.
There is a lot going on in this overstuffed plot. Besides Asher’s issues, his girlfriend has her own family and personal problems including domestic violence, suicide attempts and a twist at the book’s midpoint. Olivia runs a beekeeping business so be prepared to read extremely detailed facts about how bees live and how honey extraction is completed.
I have never read a book by either of these authors. While I am impressed with how real the characters feel, it feels like too much plot for one book. I could have done without all the bee descriptions. I realize they are made to show a society that works seamlessly together instead of the way that the two troubled families interact in the book. But I didn’t need pages and pages to get that insight.
The whodunnit was much too obvious for frequent mystery readers. The character building and plot development have the pacing of literary fiction rather than a legal thriller, which was another disappointment for me. However, I’m positive that there are many people who will adore Mad Honey. 4 stars!
Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.