Title: Every Breath
Author: Ellie Marney
Published: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Tundra Books.
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…
Where to begin? I am undeniably, head over heels for this book. It’s not fair for me to review it, because my review is going to be filled with lots of squeeing and whining that I need the second in my hands right.this.instant. And the fact that there’s a third book in the works? Sign me up for more please.
Okay, down to business. Every Breath is a strong, brilliantly crafted character driven novel. There is mystery, action, intrigue and good old fashioned sleuthing involved but the thing that drew me into this novel, and has me going crazy for the sequels? The characters. Mycroft and Watts are two of the most tangibly written characters I’ve come across, and it’s damn near perfect. They’ve been friends for a few months, and we’re dropped right into the middle of their friendship. It’s real, believable–not forced, nothing strained. There’s no in-jokes that we’re supposed to somehow figure out on our own. Their friendship is real. Watts bringing Mycroft supper because she knows he forgets to eat is something that stuck with me early on in the book. They take care of each other in the only ways that they know how to. There is a spark between them, that is more than friendship, but doesn’t detract from the original relationship that they have with each other. Speaking of chemistry, these two have it in spades, and I very much want to smoosh them together and declare everything happy and sunshine and kittens.
The plot is carefully constructed, unfolding as the story progresses nicely. The pacing is really great, not too slow, and not giving everything away all at once. It’s subtle storytelling at it’s best and it’s something that I really love in a mystery book. Coming back to the characters, I really love what Ms. Marney did, in keeping the teenage aspect to it. They’re disturbed and rattled by the murder of Mycroft’s friend. They make mistakes, they have nightmares, they’re shaken and rattled by things that they discover. They’re smart kids, but the base of it is, they are kids. Their investigation is their own, and they figure things out without it coming off as contrived or handed to them.
There are parallels to Sherlock Holmes-don’t let that deter you from reading this book/series. Every Breath is that good. It’s quickly become one of my favorite books that I’ve read, and it’s one that I’m going to have a very hard time restraining myself from literally throwing it at people and going “READ THIS”. (Yes, I have done this before, and it’s more common than I’d like to admit.) These characters are their own beasts, and their story is beautifully written and unique.
Overall If I could give this more than five umbrellas I could. If I could read the next two books in the series right this instant I would. Read this book. Read it and come and talk to me about it. *Thank you Tundra Books for gifting me a copy of Every Breath.