by Ellie Marney
Read: June 5 - 7, 2014
Published: October 14, 2014 by Tundra Books
Source: BEA book #2
Category: Contemporary, Aussie, Mystery, Sherlock-eque
Series: Every Breath #1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.
While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again…
Let me tell you about a winning combination: Sherlock Holmes and Austrialia. Well not really Sherlock, but even better for this story, we have aptly named James Mycroft. Why are these elements a perfect match? Aussie authors excel at realistic fiction. I don't know why, but they are able to capture something about humans, and especially teens, that speaks to readers in an incredibly honest way. Combine that natural Aussie-writerness with a troubled genius boy and a female narrator named Rachel Watts (one guess about her inspiration); give them a mystery to solve, and allow the detective duo to slowly fall for each other, and you've created the magical experience called Every Breath.
Five reasons this book is not to be missed:
1) Place. Every Breath takes place in Melbourne, and the city came to life for me in these pages. Rachel is new to the city, having come from a very rural farm, and I felt like I was discovering her new home right along with her. The whole story is imbedded in the culture of this place, and the plot and characters were alive in a very real and gritty way because of how present they felt to Melbourne. Even more than location, the way these characters speak heightened my experience with the book, pulling me into Rachel and Mycroft's world. Aussies tend to shorten lots of words, and it added so much authenticity to the story.
2) James Mycroft. I dare you not to fall in love with this boy. Mycroft is a mess. He is a genius with a tragic past and a depressing home situation. He smokes (which is typically a deal breaker for me) and has tendency to downward spiral at times, but he is so endearing that I couldn't help but like him. I cared for Melbourne, because he cares so much about the city and its people, and I felt deeply his aches and the walls he uses to hide them. Mycroft is obsessed with forensics because of his past, and he uses that information in fascinating ways to help figure out what really happened to Homeless Dave.
3) Rachel (Watts). This story is narrated by Rachel, whom Mycroft calls Watts. Mycroft is her neighbor, and at first they don't seem like a great match. But they balance each other so well. Rachel has recently moved to Melbourne from the country, and is struggling to fit into city life. Rachel starts off this book feeling quite lost and out of place in the city. The whole course of her life and who she thought she was going to be has now been thrown off. We get to see Rachel grow up a lot throughout this book, and the crazy journey she and Mycroft go on throughout Melbourne to solve a murder has a lot to do with it.
4) The building relationship between Mycroft and Watts is beautifully executed. When the story begins, Rachel and Mycroft have been close friends for months. Feelings of more build slowly through the course of the story. This is't a romance disguised as a mystery, they are really trying to solve a murder. These two are able to keep their heads in what they're doing, and I love the way their relationship grows subtly over time as they figure out their feelings along the way. Thankfully, with so much going on, their romance isn't weird and angsty. It progresses naturally. I can't express loudly enough how perfect and slow burn Mycroft and Rachel's change in relationship status happens throughout the course of this book. As I write this, I keep thinking about one scene that takes place on some scaffolding, and it has the most amazing tension in it. AHHHHhhh! I love these two so much.
5) Mystery. Mycroft and Rachel find the dead body of their homeless friend Dave and become convinced that it's not the simple case that the police claim it is. I appreciated that the author did try to account for the fact that these are high school students solving a crime. I didn't see all the connections that they did (obviously, Mycroft is smarter than me), but I guessed the killer before they did. Still, I was on the edge of my seat as the suspense increased.
In sum, I loved getting to know Rachel and Mycroft and their city, as they solve a mystery and discover their feelings for each other. This book is a winner and spoiler alert! the sequel Every Word is EVEN BETTER. Even more partnership and tension and intensity.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low, but this is part of a series
**Check back Wednesday for my Every Breath blog tour post, when author Ellie Marney gives readers a tour of Melbourne.**