Every Breath

352p. ebook available. Tundra. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781770497726. LC 2014933493.
Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old neighbors Rachel Watts and James Mycroft find the murdered body of a homeless man they know. Mycroft is convinced that there is more to the murder than the police believe and persuades Watts to help him investigate. This story is, in part, a homage to Sherlock Holmes and follows all the traditions of a whodunit. However, it's also a tale of a friendship and developing romance of two grieving teenagers. Rachel hates the city of Melbourne and longs for her family's outback farm, lost to foreclosure. Mycroft lives with an uncaring aunt and is still suffering from the loss of his parents in a car crash. The book begins with the aftermath of a fight—Watts and friend Mai mopping up Mycroft's blood. It is a little confusing, as the fight is detailed, schoolteachers and main characters are introduced, and Mycroft comes off as a smart mouth. However, the author develops the characters into authentic, sympathetic individuals while keeping the mystery sustained and the plot moving forward. Somewhat graphic descriptions of the murdered body, swearing, and a subplot of child's sexual abuse make this a novel aimed at older teens. This is a well-written novel that should satisfy confident, thoughtful readers who don't mind Australian slang and brand names.—Michelle Anderson, Tauranga City Libraries, New Zealand
In this present-day Watson-and-Holmes (Holmes being Mycroft) takeoff, country girl Rachel Watts and tortured soul James Mycroft solve the mystery of a homeless man's murder. Secondary characters, such as Rachel's snarky Vietnamese BFF Mai and her gentle Sudanese boyfriend Gus, add levity (and a bit of social commentary) to the grim proceedings. The gritty Melbourne setting is its own character in the story.

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