Series: Every #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on September 5th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery
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Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.
James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who's also a genius with a passion for forensics.
Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He's even harder to resist when he's up close and personal - and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.
When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer's trail, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...
Rachel Watts and her family have recently moved to Melbourne from country Victoria, a decision that Watts is having trouble accepting. At least she has James Mycroft, her brilliant but eccentric neighbour to hang out with. When the two of them discover a grisly crime scene, they can’t just leave the police to solve the murder on their own.
Every Breath is not just a Sherlock “retelling”. Mycroft and Watts actually refer to Sherlock Holmes several times through the story, joking that they are living up to their namesakes or that Rachel is “not your Watson!”. There are hints of the original story throughout, but the mystery is really only one part. The rest is part coming-of-age story, part delightful romance, and part cop drama. There are hints of abusive relationships, mental health issues and gifted students falling through the cracks at school. In short, a breadth of issues affecting teens today.
This book is a very fast read, full of action and drama. It may be the most Aussie book I’ve read in a while, full of slang and local phrasing that may be lost on an international audience. I loved it though, especially the feeling of Melbourne that came through from time to time. Watts and Mycroft just spark off each other and I was basically cheering during the last chapter!
The mystery element was interesting – I was kept guessing almost all of the way through. The one thing I have to mention that I really didn’t like so much was that Mycroft is such a chain smoker! How on earth is Watts able to smell “resin and oil from the timber (decking)” when there were two guys smoking right next to her? Maybe that’s just my anti-smoking prejudices coming through!
If you’re an Aussie YA fan, you may recognise Ellie from her #LoveOZYA bookclub group on Facebook. Every Breath is her debut work, and to be honest, I can’t wait to get my hands on the second in this trilogy.