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.
A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...
This book was gifted to me from my lovely friend, Kristen over at My Friends Are Fiction. I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book on my own or even heard about it if it weren’t for her.
That being said, the experience of reading this book was like a mental tug of war. There were parts of it that I was in love with, and then aspects of the story that left me a little bored. Fans of the BBC’s Sherlock will definitely be drawn in by this book, but the mystery that helps carry the plot was like a screenplay that ended up on the ”drawing room floor” of the popular show. That’s where my only complaint lies. Oh, and the description of the murder in this book was a bit overkill for me. I had to skip over several repeat descriptions of it as Watts was trying to piece together what happened to the victim. I mean, you can only take a vivid description of what someone’s slit throat looks like so many times before you feel as if you are bleeding out yourself.
Now, on to the things I really enjoyed about this book.
Ellie Marney’s writing has a tactile-like quality to it. I felt as if her words were touching me through the pages. Certain sentences and descriptive phrases gave me goosebumps because they were so crystallized and evocative. Her choice of words and sentence structure is very solid and is a refreshing mixture of lyrical and sterile.
I really loved the description below. So much better than just describing this feeling as ”having butterflies”.
Mycroft’s searching my face, and his expression has gone strangely soft. That’s when I know I’m not imagining it. Whatever it is I’m feeling- the tension, the spin inside that lifts me up and makes me feel like I’m going to fly into a thousand pieces, all at the same time- he’s feeling it too.
A rush of tiny wings zips through my body, but I stand rooted in place.
This story takes place “Down Under” and I liked the certain twang of added character it gave the book to me, and American reader.
I really enjoyed the rapport between Rachel Watts and Mycroft and watching the two awkward teenagers on the verge of adult-hood navigate their friendship/romance with all the grace of freshmen in high-school. Things were messy, and real, and wonderful in their interactions as well as in their surroundings. I was a bit indifferent in regards to the secondary characters in this novel. They didn’t take up too much of the story, and I liked it that way. Focusing on Watts and Mycroft as they submerged themselves in a murder mystery was wholly entertaining. Honestly, I could have just done with the whole book being one long conversation between the two and not a word wasted talking about a grotesque murder.
The pacing was slower than one would expect for a murder mystery, but it worked well for the character development. The transition from friends to romantic partner’s in solving crime was beautifully played out between Watts and Mycroft. The author does an amazing job at vividly capturing their chemistry. It was perfect.
Mycroft’s hands cover mine and his long body stretches up behind me. He is still warm from his bed. The warmth combines with my flush of humiliation and fans out inside me like tongues of fire.
Our legs and arms are tangled, root and branch. Mycroft reaches higher, traps me against the desk, his hip against my bare back. He smells of cigarettes and sleep, and suddenly this other awareness licks through me that I shouldn’t be feeling now, and my palms are sweating, sliding on the album as our hands fumble together, and the damned album is, like, stuck or something….
I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed Ellie Marney’s writing and characterization, though. She is brilliant and clever and creative when it comes to describing the same features on a character a gazillion times. I always worry about how authors describe a character’s eyes. The eyes of an MC or love-interest are described so many times in a typical novel, and I often find myself thinking, Oh, no! How will s/he describe the blue color of his eyes this fiftieth-hundred time?! (Silly, I know, but it’s what goes on inside me head.) Ellie Marney had so many unique and refreshing ways to describe Mycroft’s eyes through Watt’s character. I was completely impressed.
Latest posts by Regina (see all)
- Little Monsters by Kara Thomas - August 10, 2017
- Blog Tour: The Librarian by Christy Sloat Review + GIVEAWAY!!! - June 15, 2017
- What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss: Book Review + ASMR Librarian Role Play - June 2, 2017
- The Gentleman by Forrest Leo - May 18, 2017
- Blog Tour: The Takedown by Corrie Wang + GIVEAWAY!!! - April 19, 2017