Book Review

Review: Every Breath by Ellie Marney

every breath by ellie marney

Published: October 14 2014

Number of pages: 335

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Tundra Books

Genre: contemporary, mystery, crime

Audience: ages 13+ or YA

Rating: 3.5/5 owl hoots


James Mycroft is the boy next door with Rachel Watts as his neighbor and friend. Rachel has a hard time resisting Mycroft after he wants her to help him solve a murder case. But when she and Mycroft follow the trail of clues, they literally find themselves in the lion’s den.


I read Every Breath because I’m a sucker for reading stories inspired by Sherlock or have some influence by the classic detective. First there was Jackaby which was more of Holmes meets Dr. Who. Every Breath is a contemporary fiction with an interest in forensics and likes to cause havoc at school. He’s like you’re troubled seventeen year old with a tragic past and has a rough time growing up.

Let’s start with what I like about the characters. James Mycroft is the bad boy next door who is like a younger, contemporary version of Sherlock Holmes living in Melbourne, Australia. James really does remind me of the classic detective because of his interest in forensics, his smoking habits, and his rebellious attitude towards authority. When he’s bored James becomes unstable so the only thing that keeps him from causing destruction is solving crimes. Sherlock used to shoot bullet holes in his walls but James distracts himself with spraying crude words on school property. Typical bad boy am I right?

Then there’s Rachel Watts who is James’s best friend, schoolmate, and the narrator of the story. She’s known him all her life before she moved to the city and understands James more then anyone. His past, his dark side, and his bad habits. She is the female version of Dr. Watson but like a normal teenage girl with problems of her own. Watts (as James likes to call her) is a good friend and a partner, and it’s clear that he really needs her in his private life. It’s cute to see how these two bicker all the time; the way they fight and make up and how they always get into each other’s nerves. It’s pretty clear that these two need each other and you just know from the very beginning, that there’s something there between them.

I love reading mysteries but this was a little “meh” for me. The relationship between James and Rachel was more intriguing then the murder case as Ellie elaborates on their complicated friendship and feelings for each other. I didn’t mind this at all because I love seeing how their friendship turns romantic and most of the time, I would plead that something would happen between them. Yes the mystery of the story included a motive, list of suspects, and an amateur detective, but it was still a slump for me because the suspects weren’t even that interesting and I wasn’t compelled enough to follow the case which is why I’m giving the book 3.5.

Overall I did enjoy witnessing the growth of James and Rachel’s relationship and their private lives so that made up for it. This isn’t much of a thriller but if you just like to see how Sherlock would turn out to be the boy next door then pick this up!


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