Father son books are always interesting to read because depending on the age of their son there is always some subtle tension in the relationship. For young sons the father prods his progeny, trying to get him to be a better player, athlete etc. Older sons, in trying to carve their own niche and explore their individuality are often at loggerheads with their fathers. In this book, the relationship is somewhere in between.
Knightley and Son by Rohan Gavin is an unusual detective story. Alan Knightley ex ace private detective, is not grooming his son as a potential successor for the family business (as is usually the case in novels of this type), as a matter of fact he has gone out of his way to conceal information about past cases and about the one big case he was working on before he went into a coma. Knightley's obsessive nature and devotion to his cases took a toll on his marriage and he and his wife divorced.
The book opens with Darkus Knightley trying to make sense of a dossier of cases his father has worked on. In the time that his father has been comatose, Darkus has sharpened his skills and is very calculating and composed the way he thinks his father would want him to be. Though there are a few twists and turns along the way, the case is pretty much standard fare with it being resolved yet leaving the door open for possible sequels or villainous returns.
The book touches on very important theme-the influence of a father on an impressionable young man. Darkus has had to form his idea of what his father would want him to be, first because his father's long convalesence and also because his father is not the most communicative person. This I felt was a theme that could have been explored more. Another small gripe I had is that Darkus Knightley is portrayed as a type of automaton, he seems unaffected by his parents divorce, he patiently deals with bullies who make fun of him in class. Yes he is very smart but even the most intelligent teens are capable of displays of emotion.
Despite these minor flaws this is a good book and I recommend it for readers aged 10-13.
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