Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Knightley & Son - Book Two: K-9

As the title of this second Knightley and Son mystery suggests, Darkus Knightley is up to his nose in canine trouble when a number of police officers are attacked by some highly trained, unnaturally intelligent dogs.  When Darkus' own Uncle Bill falls victim to one of these shadow dogs, it becomes personal, and Darkus tracks down his once again missing father to discover that he is already on the case - without him!

Author Rohan Gavin returns with another tale of mystery, danger, and the Combination as Darkus finds himself facing off against the villain who may or may not be a werewolf.  The elder Knightley believes there is a supernatural creature that is running around, but his son, Darkus, sticks to his belief that there has to be a rational explanation.  And regardless of which side of the fence it falls on, they both have their suspicions that the Combination, that sinister group that somehow affected Darkus' step-father in the previous book is behind this latest attack on London.

The story drags a bit in the first half, with the focus more on the family drama that Darkus faces with a half-crazed step-father, a missing biological father who falls into unexpected comas, and a beloved dog that he is forced to give up (but, of course, later learns will be taken in by his father's housekeeper, Bogna.  And when he forces his way into his father's latest case (bemoaning the fact that his father hid the case from him and did not include him, despite the business cards he gave him in the last book that said "Knightley & Son"), he faces disappointment when it seems his step-sister Tilly is more interested in a boy than in helping him figure out what is going on.

Once the mystery gears up, though, the pace begins to move and the book becomes much more engaging. What first appears to be two unrelated mysteries eventually prove to be interrelated, and Gavin provides a few nice surprises along the way as Darkus, his father, Tilly, and Uncle Bill, along with Darkus' new pet dog, Wilbur, race against time to solve the mystery before the next full moon.  When a reporter is kidnapped and a television celebrity discovers footage of what appears to be a supernatural creature trying to break into her home, they know time is running out.

And one warning about this tale - not everyone makes it out unscathed.

At the end of the book is a preview of the next mystery, 3 of a Kind - - which, I've had on my Amazon watch list for a while, but it was recently listed as "unavailable."  I found out why the other day, because the publisher has decided to issue the book in hardcover first.  That is SO annoying, as the first two books came out only in paperback, but I guess they sold well enough that the publisher is now going to go to hardcover first, meaning I'll have to wait another year or more for the next book to come out in paperback - - UGH!

Of course, I guess I could look at the bright side - if it's doing that well, perhaps that means we'll get a fourth book or more!

RATING:  7 strong-scented bags of coffee beans out of 10 for providing an unexpected twist ending when it comes to the villain behind all the machinations!

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