Series: Every #2
Published by Tundra Books on September 8, 2015
Genres: mystery, thriller
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James Mycroft has just left for London to investigate a car accident similar to the one that killed his parents seven years ago...without saying goodbye to Rachel Watts, his 'partner in crime'.
Rachel is furious and worried about his strange behaviour - not that Mycroft's ever exactly normal, but London is the scene of so many of his nightmares. So Rachel jumps on a plane to follow him...and lands straight in a whole storm of trouble.
The theft of a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, the possible murder of a rare books conservator, and the deaths of Mycroft's parents...Can Watts help Mycroft make sense of the three events - or will she lose him forever?
Sparks fly when Watts and Mycroft reunite in this second sophisticated thriller about the teen sleuthing duo.
It’s comforting to know that there are certain authors out there that you can come to rely on for a satisfying, gripping story that is not only beautifully written, but also fraught with tension of both the actual danger and of the romantic varieties. In Every Word, the second installment in her Every series, Ellie Marney establishes herself as exactly that type of author for me. Everything that I loved in Every Breath, the action, the mystery, and the undeniable sexual tension, are not only present in Every Word, they’re amplified.
We begin the story several weeks after the events of Every Breath. Rachel and Mycroft are processing their emotions after the events of Every Word and are trying to navigate the new world of their relationship. Complicating events are Rachel’s parents, who have taken appropriate and realistic measures (involved YA parents, my god, it’s a unicorn!) to try and limit their interactions. The scenes between Rachel and Mycroft where they manage to eke out time alone are absolutely electric and downright sizzling with the chemistry. I’ve been in a truly awful slump, but this is the first book whose couple has made my heart actually race, and who’ve been able to touch me in a way that has escaped me for months.
The writing is as beautiful and capable of evoking tension as ever. Marney knows how to induce setting and atmosphere masterfully. I feel like I know Rachel’s gritty Melbourne subsection, and even the sun soaked, dry heat of the country life she left behind. There is a tautness to everything, in both the larger story and the smaller details. No matter if this story is set in Australia, or in the UK like Every Word is, the setting is brought to vibrant life. And it doesn’t matter whether the tension described is the “mundane” tension of family life, or an actual life or death situation. The story is entertaining enough on its own merits, but it’s absolutely an added bonus that the writing is gorgeous.
The mystery is continued on and developed from the first book. We know that Mycroft’s family was assassinated by a shady group with unknown motivations. In this installment we grow closer to understanding who that group is and what those motivations might have been. The final answers lie out of reach, of course. We have another book to go yet! Just like the first book, the mystery in this one is perfectly self-contained but the resolution leads only to expose a greater component of the mystery arc. I don’t know about you, but I am perfectly on board with any plot developments that unexpectedly take us to London. The circumstances of the plot of this book are basically ludicrous, but Marney’s gift is that she makes you believe this is plausible.
This book absolutely stole my breath with the direction the plot went in. There is danger, and real consequence to Rachel and Mycroft’s actions. It’s not plausible that two teenagers can take on a murder investigation in a foreign country. And the plot explores that realistically. The high stakes and tension, the terror of Rachel and Mycroft’s situation was palpable. There were scenes in this book that had my heart pounding out of my chest. That’s a feat in a series in which we know there will be more books.
One of the things I have always loved about this series is how realistic and actual teenager-seeming Rachel is. I have read US contemporaries that feel more fantastical than this Aussie mystery-thriller. These books are grounded in an awesome realisticness. It’s even more impressive given that so much of the plot of this book is ludicrous impossible, but it feels totally possible. And the romance, my goodness! The romance is sizzling and sparkling. There are some very steamy scenes. More please and thank you in Book 3! The chemistry between Rachel and Mycroft is a tangible thing, but underscoring this is the very real weight of the depth of understanding these characters have achieved with each other. Being with Mycroft is far from easy. He’s often locked inside, fighting his demons. But the emotional strides that both characters take is impressive.
I haven’t even read the final book in the Every series and I’m already clamoring for whatever comes next for Ellie. Where is my time machine? (Seriously, I would mostly use a time machine to just go around collecting anticipated releases). This one packs the action, tension, mystery, and romance into one delightful package. It’s everything a contemporary mystery/thriller fan could wish for and more.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.