Genre: YA contemporary romance/mystery.
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!