Thursday, 23 January 2014

Knightley and Son by Rohan Gavin

I'm a firm believer that children’s books can and do appeal to adults. I would never discount a book because it was written for a younger audience, and some of my favourite books in the world can be found in the children’s section.

So when I realised that Knightley and Son was a children’s book, I was surprised, but it didn't put me off reading it. I was intrigued by the premise; Alan Knightley, a respected detective awakes after a mystery incident that left him in a coma for four years. His son Darkus, has spent that time studying his father’s cases, and has developed into talented detective himself. When a strange new book starts causing people to act erratically, Knightley and Son are called upon to solve the mystery.

The mystery at the heart of Knightley and Son is intriguing; Darkus and his father have to first establish if it’s possible that there are paranormal forces at play. A book called The Code is causing chaos, somehow persuading people to rob banks and commit crimes they would otherwise never have considered. With Alan still suffering from the effects of his coma, it falls to Darkus to take the lead on an investigation that will become personal for him, his father, and his stepsister.

As I said, I enjoy children’s books very much, and so I can’t use that as a reason for why I didn’t quite fully connect with Knightley and Son. However, I think maybe the traits that put me off the character of Darkus are probably the same things that would endear him to a younger reader. I find him precocious and slightly annoying, and I find it quite the leap to believe that he would be given so much responsibility by the authorities. But of course, as a child, reading this, that wouldn’t have mattered quite so much to me, and I’m sure that I would have enjoyed reading about a young teenager become embroiled in a murder mystery.

The book ends with “Knightley and Son will return!”, so it’s safe to assume that this is an intended series. With that in mind, it would be great read for children between nine and twelve, who are after an exciting story with some great action sequences. Unfortunately for me, it’s not a children’s book that will become one of my personal favourites.

I received an eBook preview copy of Knightley and Son from NetGalley as an advanced reading copy.

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