Review Blog

Sep 24 2013

Every Breath by Ellie Marney

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN: 9781743316429
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Themes: Crime, Family, Friendship, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Grief/Loss.
I am starting to be more conscious of the use of the word 'sexy' to sell YA books. With the emergence of the 'New Adult' category, it's getting harder to work out where to draw the line with explicit content. Books are now coming home with me a lot more, until I can read them and be aware of what's in them. Every Breath has the word 'sexy' on the cover, but this is not one you will have to worry about. Rachel and James' relationship takes most of the book to develop, and although there is some hot kissing, it does stop there.
Every Breath is more about establishing itself in the detective genre. It uses clever references to Sherlock Holmes lore as a fun, irreverent way to establish its protagonists. Rachel Watts and James Mycroft live two doors down from each other, since Rachel's family left their bankrupt farm. We are shown this friendship four months in and not given very much background at all, as to how or why they came to be friends. They just are, and we accept that. Mycroft is a genius with a damaged psyche and Rachel's practical nature is the best thing for him.
When one of Mycroft's friends is murdered, the pair stumble into solving the crime (although not so much with the stumble, and more with the determination of a boy who has already seen too much death, and who needs to make order from chaos). Rachel is not sure what she should do: Placate Mycroft and let him think it is capable of actually solving the crime, or persuade him to leave it to the authorities. She oscillates between wanting to stay out of the mess, and wanting to learn more. Of course, they do become entangled, and the climax at the zoo has all the elements mystery lovers want: danger, an evil psychopath and sacrifice.
There will be at least two more, with the next one (Every Move) delving into the mysterious deaths of Mycroft's parents, only mentioned here in passing.
Trish Buckley

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