Cover image for Knightley & son
Knightley & son
Gavin, Rohan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, 2014.
Physical Description:
313 pages ; 22 cm
A father and son detective team investigates the mystery surrounding a book that that makes its readers commit terrible crimes, and a sinister organization known as the Combination.
Reading Level:
870 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 6.2 10.0 167831.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.6 16 Quiz: 63837.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Awards for Knightley and Son : Spring 2014 Kids IndieNext Pick, ABA Indies Introduce Pick, Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2014

The once highly in-demand detective Alan Knightley has just woken up after an unexplained incident kept him asleep for four years. While he was out cold, his son, Darkus, took it upon himself to read of all his dad's old cases, and he's learned a lot about the art of detection. It's a good thing too -- because suddenly the duo find themselves caught up in a crazy conspiracy that involves a group of villainous masterminds (who keep appearing and then vanishing), some high-speed car chases (that will have everyone fastening their seat belts), and a national, bestselling book with the power to make people do terrible, terrible things. But because Alan is still suffering the effects of his coma, he tends to, well, fall asleep at the worst possible moments, Meaning that young Darkus might just have to solve this mystery . . . by himself.

Author Notes

Rohan Gavin is an author and screenwriter based in London. He is a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and his enduring love of detective fiction, cars and conspiracy theories inspired him to write this book, the first in a series. Rohan is the son of award-winning children's author Jamila Gavin, and he recently became a father himself.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Thirteen-year-old Darkus' father, investigator Alan Knightley, has been in a comalike state for four years. Meanwhile, Darkus has been studying the hard drive containing his dad's notes on a mysterious criminal organization called the Combination. Then Alan awakens and learns that these villains are responsible for a new series of crimes committed by innocent people under their control. When the hard drive is stolen, Alan must rely on Darkus' memory to fill in past events. Together, father and son try to fit the puzzle pieces together in time to identify and thwart their ruthless enemies. Set in England, Gavin's first novel has a darker atmosphere, a more sophisticated tone, and more adult characters than most mysteries for a young audience. The criminals' method never feels quite believable, but Gavin deftly paces the story, maintaining the narrative tension, and he introduces some strong characters, such as loyal, methodical Darkus and his angry, enigmatic stepsister, Tilly. Fans of this debut will be glad that the ending leaves the door open for sequels.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

What if The Secret were evil? That's what 13-year-old Darkus Knightley and his father seem to be up against in Gavin's debut, in which a self-help book called The Code appears to be tied to a rash of criminal activity. Darkus adores his father, private investigator Alan Knightley, though it isn't always easy: Alan never betrays much emotion, and that's when he's conscious (he's been in a comalike trance for four years). Darkus has memorized his father's case files, which comes in handy after Alan suddenly awakens, ready to take on the Combination, a criminal organization he believes is "responsible for almost every unexplained crime, both great and small, in towns and cities across the country... and possibly even the world." Cerebral and humorless "disciples of reason," Darkus and Alan aren't the most engaging team, and the supporting cast is underutilized, especially the women, whether it's Darkus's mother, his revenge-driven stepsister, or his father's Polish housekeeper, who's the center of too many "jokes" about her stilted English. The action picks up toward the end, but it's a long haul to get there. Ages 10-12. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Darkus Knightley's father has been in a coma for four years. During that time, Darkus went through his detective dad's files and began trying to solve unfinished cases. His father suddenly wakes up and strangely enough, his recovery coincides with an uptick in crime. The crimes seem to be related to people reading a book called The Code. The elder Knightley is worried about including his son in his investigations; he is convinced that all of the little schemes and crimes are linked into a nefarious network he calls The Combination. Darkus becomes essential, however, when his father's data drive is stolen, thereby leaving Darkus as the only person who remembers and knows all of the case file information. Joining father and son is Tilly, Darkus's gadget-savvy stepsister. Can they figure out the connection between all of the seemingly random crimes? Is there a Combination? Gavin has created a fun "Sherlock Holmes"-style adventure, with modern twists and a bit of humor. The combination is skillfully done. This is a quick and fun read; a great choice for choice looking for a new mystery to dive into.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.