Published: March 1st 2015 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback, 340 pages
Genres: Crime, Thriller/Mystery
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After the dramatic events of London, a road trip back to her old home in Five Mile sounds good (in theory) to Rachel Watts, with her brother Mike in the driving seat. But when Mike picks up his old buddy – the wildly unreliable Harris Derwent – things start to go south.
Back in Melbourne, Rachel’s ‘partner in crime’, James Mycroft, clashes with Harris, and then a series of murders suggest that the mysterious Mr Wild – Mycroft’s own personal Moriarty – is hot on their tail. When tragedy strikes, Rachel and Mycroft realise they’ll have to recruit Harris and take matters into their own hands…
The last instalment of Ellie Marney’s Every series has left me conflicted and sad. Although it’s hard to say good-bye to Mycroft and Watts, it’s probably for the best because I didn’t really like the way this book turned out.
Every Move started off very strongly, with Rachel and James both dealing with what happened in London the best they can. For Rachel it means vowing to never get mixed up in anything dangerous ever again and avoiding speaking about it at all. For Mycroft this means getting to the bottom of the mystery of his parent’s death as quickly as possible, so the issue can be put to rest. Rachel and James conflict for a large part of this book, a natural consequence of their inability to help one another through these difficult times. They rally through it, though, and I was glad they were able to stick together for the final show-down.
We meet a new character in this book: Mike’s best friend Harris, who Rachel has disliked for all her life. Harris ends up living with Rachel’s family after moving to the city from Five Mile, and causes all sorts of havoc for her. Although Rachel begins by hating him, he finds out about the nightmares she’s still having and helps her through her fears, in addition to training her basic self defence because it looks like her life might be in danger again.
The thrills in Every Move are on par with the earlier novels, and the heart-stopping action did not let up. Readers will be hard-pressed to put it down! Mr. Wild (the Moriarty character), is just as sinister, clever, and dangerous as you’d expect. I think one of the strongest aspects of this series is its believability: it could have been easy to scoff at the idea of two teenagers getting embroiled in all this dangerous business, but Marney creates situations that seem realistic. Rachel and Mycroft also have a lot of support from adults – parental figures and law enforcement – which adds realism.
In isolation, Harris is a great character. He’s always had a rough family life and Mike’s family has been a second family for him. He’s rugged and rough, talks no nonsense and is practical. He’s also extremely loyal to Mike and Rachel’s family. All of these things made me like Harris, but one thing overshadowed all of this and made me dread every moment he was ‘on-screen’. Harris clearly has feelings for Rachel. Almost from the first time we meet him there is this vibe between them that won’t go away, and although I’m all for unrequited love and understand the need for Rachel to help him fit into city life, I hated the weird situation between them.View Spoiler »In particular, I hated that Rachel had feelings for Harris as well. She was clearly attracted to him and gave him liberties that I don’t see anyone allowing unless there were feelings involved in both directions. The school dance, for example, has Rachel standing on Harris’ feet and allowing him to basically kiss her neck and shoulders. I lost all respect for them both near the end, when Harris decided he was going to kiss Rachel and she let him. I felt it was wrong on both sides: Harris knew Rachel was in a committed relationship and decided it was okay to kiss her because he was only going to do it once, and Rachel just lets him. She knew it was coming, she stood still and waited for it, and although she didn’t kiss him back, she didn’t stop him either. And she never mentioned any of this to Mycroft. I’ve always loved the realism of this series, and this situation also feels real – perhaps too much so. I respect the author’s decisions, and I feel that this was a way to show us that the relationships people have as teenagers are not necessarily life-long, but I am uncomfortable with cheating in the best of circumstances and basically couldn’t deal with it here. However, this is a very personal opinion and I don’t necessarily expect that it will impact everyone’s enjoyment of the book. « Hide Spoiler
Every Move rounds out his kick-butt series well, and my disappointment with it is more about personal preference than about the book itself. I recommend this series to readers who enjoy crime novels, and especially those who would love to see a modernised Sherlock Holmes dynamic set in Melbourne. I’ve enjoyed my adventure with Rachel and Mycroft and can’t wait to see what Marney brings us next.