Title: Every Breath
Author: Ellie Marney
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: September 2013
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally.
A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…
If Sherlock Holmes can have a Watson, then stands to reason that James Mycroft can have a Watts. Right?
Rachel Watts and James Mycroft – neighbours, friends and now amateur sleuths. When the pair stumble upon a crime scene, Mycroft’s inquisitional nature and passion for forensics urge him to investigate further – and drag Watts along with him. In a quest to find justice for their friend Homeless Dave, Watts finds herself falling deeper into the deadly mystery and makes her question her relationship with the secretive boy who lives next door…
As a Sherlock Holmes fan I was excited to read this book. From Arthur Conan Doyle to the BBC show, Sherlock, I love the stories about the famous fictional detective. And whilst I was expecting this to be a modern take on the classic story, I was thrilled by Ellie Marney’s debut novel. This is no retelling but rather it’s an exciting new story about Mycroft and Watts – two teens who both don’t quite fit in. Watts is a recent transplant from the bush and hates every moment she spends in the city. Mycroft is a little eccentric and has problems with mainstream society. But somehow they fit each other perfectly. I loved the references to Sherlock Homes sprinkled throughout the book – like Diogenes and Baker Street.
I liked Watts and Mycroft as characters. They are so different and yet rather similar. They are both a little angry and hurt and are frustrated by their family situations and their ways of coping are vastly contrasting. And the chemistry between the two is great to read. Somehow they are friends and they both go ahead with the other’s schemes and as a result they balance each other out perfectly. Mycroft is slightly insane. And his antics? Crazy. But overall he’s a well-meaning and likeable lead. Secondary characters like Watts’ family, Mai and Gus are interesting enough and help the story along as Watts and Mycroft get deeper and deeper into the mystery.
I love a good whodunit murder mystery and Every Breath delivered an entertaining plot. There’s a lot of action but also a lot of character, humour and even a dash of romance to keep things flowing. I also enjoyed how Melbourne was utilized as the setting. The streets, the trams and the Zoo were all fantastically incorporated to add to the whole Australian vibe of this novel.
This was a great read and I loved Marney’s take on the murder mystery. Every Breath kept me hooked until the last page. I couldn’t wait to find out if my suspicions of who did it were correct! Zany characters, great plot and a fantastic setting in the city of Melbourne. I loved this book and there is no doubt – I will definitely be checking out the two sequels, Every Word and Every Move when they are released in 2014 and 2015.
Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.
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PS. I love Melbourne Zoo. My parents used to take me all the time when we lived down there and I went when I was in Melbourne just after Christmas last year. As I love any chance to show off my awesome photography skills (wink wink) I thought I’d share some of my favourite Melbourne Zoo photos to help get you into the vibe for this book!