The days are dark and sodden; what could raise the spirits and transport one from a humdrum round of school and chores? I prescribe a dose of Knightley & Son.
This is the third in the series featuring teenage sleuth, Darkus Knightley, his detective father and his stepsister, computer whizz, Tilly. But don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous episodes, the author skilfully provides plenty of explanatory asides that allow the reader to know exactly what has gone on before this story starts. We learn that Darkus, demoralised by the happenings of their previous case (K-9) has given up detection. In any case with their leader in a coma, the criminal organisation, the Combination, is finished. Or is it? A kidnapping catapults Darkus back onto the case – and with his father and Tilly, sends him speeding to the USA. Are they facing the Combination again? If so who is behind it?
Tapping into cult series ranging from Sherlock through Dr Who to James Bond and Tintin, even The X Files, the author serves up a breathless plot that hurls the reader from one tense situation to another, the adrenalin balanced by a liberal dose of humour. Darkus may be a detective genius but his ‘catastrophiser’ is far from infallible, while the adults are all seen through comic lenses. They may be treated affectionately if on the side of right; the baddies are real comic strip villains. This is not the place to look for nuanced characterisation. Nor is the prose style measured. With phrases such as ‘manifestation of pure evil’ in evidence, this is extreme writing for extreme fun. So what are you waiting for – open the popcorn, settle back and enjoy the ride.
Read a Q&A Interview with Rohan Gavin.