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Saturday, October 07, 2017

Finally Got Around To Reading...Every Breath by Eliie Marney

You know how it is when you have a book lying around for ages and then you finally get around to reading it and it takes about a day?

I had this on my cyber-shelves almost since it came out. I knew about it, read a few pages and then ... read other stuff.

But yesterday I read the bit left on the cutting room floor, which was published as a short story in the LoveOzYa# anthology, which was about the first meeting of James Mycroft and Rachel Watts and suddenly I knew it was more than time to read the novel Every Breath. 

And now I've downloaded the second book, Every Word. 

On the remote chance you haven't heard of this trilogy, it's set in Melbourne, told from the viewpoint of Rachel Watts, a country girl whose family had to leave their farm near Ouyen and make a new life in the big city. They are living in Coburg, one of Melbourne's more multicultural suburbs and Mycroft and Watts attend North Coburg Secondary College, along with their friends Vietnamese girl Mai Ng and her Sudanese boyfriend Gus Deng. Mycroft lives with his aunt Angela, since he lost both parents in a horrific car crash back in England. Aunt Angela is so rarely at home that for a time Watts wonders if she even exists. Mycroft is an intellectual genius, who does a forensics elective at school, but admits to being a social moron - not entirely true, since he seems to know a lot of people around Melbourne, from the tram drivers along their route to the Greek cafe owner who gives them coffee and baklava on the house.

And then there is Homeless Dave, who camps in Royal Park, outside the zoo, and whom Mycroft and Watts take a meal every week until one night when he turns up very dead...

It's such an entertaining novel that hopefully I will be able to "sell" it at school before the year is over. I know just the young lady for it - in fact, she's the one who requested the LoveOzYa# anthology for the library. It's a bit like the writing of Lili Wilkinson, except that I admit to liking it better than A Pocketful Of Eyes. It's not as funny - these kids have both been through bad times and the murder victim was their friend, whom they don't believe will get justice, because he was just another street person.  A Pocketful Of Eyes was an over-the-top whodunnit with likeable characters, but this one is - well, not over-the-top. Anyway, I will recommend it for girls who like Lili Wilkinson.

It's not exactly Sherlock Holmes, though there are a lot of references to it. Watts(they call each other by their surnames)points out that his name is that of Sherlock's smarter brother, and he even has an online identity called Diogenes, as in Mycroft Holmes's Diogenes Club - he does that on purpose, though. And she is not a Watson or for that matter a Hastings, mainly there to have things explained to him/her. She picks up a few things Mycroft doesn't, asking the right questions at the right time. 

Their friends Mai and Gus aren't just sidekicks. They make good suggestions and at one point Mai uses her Legal Studies knowledge to argue Mycroft out of the slammer. 

There is a lot of adventure in this one and before it's quite over, Mycroft finds himself heading for the role of "consulting detective" online, due to his Diogenes articles and website. 

I've just started reading the sequel - I believe that one takes place in London, should be fun! 

It is available both in and outside of Australia, so if you've missed out on it, why not give it a go? 


A latte beckons said...

I absolutely loved this trilogy and inhaled each volume as soon as it was released. I hope you enjoy the other two books as much as the first!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I'm enjoying the second book so far.

Louise said...

I've been meaning to get to this for a while. I read Begin, End, Begin last month, and enjoyed that story. Still more onto the TBR...

Sue Bursztynski said...

To be honest, I was a little disappointed in that anthology, as was the student who asked me to get it. We agreed it was not the best work of those authors. But it certainly got me on to this trilogy, which I do recommend.