Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Every Breath (Every #1) by Ellie Marney
Published 2013 by Allen & Unwin.

Links: Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository. Barnes & Noble.

Source: purchased.

Genre: YA contemporary romance/mystery.

My rating:

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.


Ahh, this was a great one. I’ve had some bad luck with contemporaries lately (I mostly blame the New Adult genre) and I’m so glad I decided to read Every Breath, because it’s really, really good.

I like Sherlock Holmes. Or I like the modern versions of him, anyway, as I tried to read the original Doyle stories and soon gave up because Sherlock was obnoxious. But I enjoy watching the BBC version and Elementary as well – and though I do love the classic vibe of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, I’m really committed to Jonny Lee Miller and especially Lucy Liu. So when I read a couple of (extremely enthusiastic) reviews of Every Breath and realized the main characters are Rachel Watts and James Mycroft – a girl and a boy – I knew I had to give it a try!

It’s been a while since I read a good crime novel – as much as I love watching cop/murder shows (that sounds pretty terrible, no?), I never seem to be drawn to the genre when it comes to books. I gave a half-hearted try to Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and decided it wasn’t for me, for example. But I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out what happened to the poor murder victim here.

Rachel and James (or Watts and Mycroft, as they call themselves) are both very smart young people (they’re both nearly 18) but they have their issues and problems and baggage from the past and somehow manage to feel so very real. So often, I complain that YA (and especially NA) stories feature too much artificial angst, imaginary problems that would have been solved instantly if people just talked to each other. Here, however, there’s none of that. Sure, the slow-burn romance doesn’t evolve without hitting some obstacles, but then it never does, does it?

Ahh, the slow-burn romance. I can’t even tell you how happy I am with Watts and Mycroft’s romance! The only relationship I liked better than theirs recently was the one from Uprooted and that one was pretty much perfect. I like that their attraction is based both on respect and lust, and that there’s nothing – nothing – sappy about it. This may seem pretty clinical and uninspired but it works, I promise.

As for the Sherlock Holmes element – I like that Marney directly references the opus that inspired her series, there’s nothing secretive about it and it’s clear she loves the legendary detective. I was afraid the murder mystery would be too closely based on one of Sherlock’s cases but as far as I can tell, it was pretty original (not that I know all the stories, mind you, but it didn’t ring any bells).

All in all, this is a great beginning of a series that I definitely intend to finish. I can’t wait for my next fix of Watts and Mycroft (oh, yeah, it’s told from Watts’s perspective if you’re curious about that)!


Have you read Every Breath? What did you think?

Can you recommend any other crime novels that I’d possibly like (think romance)? :)

I’d love to hear from you!

  • This looks really good! I’m not familiar with crime novels, but your review makes me want to check this one out!

    • It is! It’s REALLY good :) I hope you like it if you get around to reading it.

  • You are too right about Conan Doyle’s Sherlock – he’s a bit of an ass, isn’t he? YES I totally feel you on the crime shows > crime novels in general. I got really into this British cop show called Scott & Bailey starring badass lady cops but just couldn’t get interested in mystery novels. Hopefully it’s just a case of finding the right one…and Every Breath sounds like a contender! That swoony YA slow-burn that manages to avoid sappiness is calling out to me…so glad you brought this one to my attention, Kaja! :)

    • ALRIGHT, I’ll be checking out S&B :) I’m really sad Castle is out for the summer so I need something else to watch. I mean apart from Gilmore Girls, obviously ;)

      Gah YES this relationship. It’s something I’d love to see in an adult novel, an adult romance. Here, everything is pretty PG13 (at least for now and not counting Rachel’s thoughts) and James is SO PRETTY.

  • I don’t usually read many contemporaries but I had the BEST luck with this one ♥ I think it’s because it has a mystery and that it’s based on Sherlock Holmes but regardless I adored it. The characters were compelling, flawed and had amazing chemistry. The mystery was engaging and I just couldn’t put it down. I’m so happy that you felt the same :) Fantastic review^^

    • Thanks, Micheline! :) We really have amazingly similar tastes in books! I’m glad you loved this one, too, it’s outside my comfort zone as well but I’m so glad I gave it a try. Have you read the sequel yet?

  • Maraia

    I loved this book as well! Suuuuuch a deliciously slow burn. I’m anxiously waiting for the next two books to be released in the U.S.

    I would have recommended The Cuckoo’s Calling, which I loved, but I guess not! The other crime novels I’ve read are older ones from my dad, and none of them have any romance. Let me know if you find any!

    • Alright, our search for good romance crime novels continues! I don’t know… maybe I should give CC another go? I mean, it’s JK we’re talking about. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood.

      • Maraia

        It is JKR, but I HATED the 60 pages I read of A Casual Vacancy, so I guess she’s only a guarantee where HP is concerned. If you don’t like mysteries without romance, the Cormoran Strike series probably isn’t for you (although I am still holding out for my ship!), but I really did think CC was a good book, with or without JKR’s name attached.

        • Ohh, me too! I gave up after about 100 pages of CV because I didn’t like a single character! Not even the tiniest smidge of liking for any of them. So sad.
          Well I don’t HAVE to have romance in my books, I just like it there when it’s good :) Maybe I’ll be tempted to take it from the library again one day.

          • Maraia

            That elusive one day… ;)

  • I’ve never even heard of this books, but it sounds interesting. I’ve got to say I normally prefer to keep my Sherlock retellings to TV simply because I could not get through the original books. I may pick this up at some point because I do love a good mystery. I have so many other books to read though so I don’t know when I’ll have the chance. You’ve intrigued me with this one.

    • Well you can wait until I read the whole series and I’ll tell you if they’re worth it ;) I disliked the original stories and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to them but this one surprised me. I saw great reviews on some blogs I follow – and from people who don’t normally read this genre, so I felt I should give it a try. I’m really glad I did!