A Measure of Darkness by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
Going into the family business is traditional but when your parent is a bestselling author, living up to the public’s expectations as a writer can be daunting. While a number of children of authors have become authors themselves; including Martin Amis (son of Kingsley), Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) and all five of Mordecai Richler’s children, normally each writer tries to establish their own voice, so it must be even more difficult working with your parent as a writing team. Action-adventure writer Clive Cussler writes with his son Dirk, mystery writer Felix Francis wrote with his father Dick, until the latter’s death, and mother and son writing team Caroline and Charles Todd have been writing mysteries as Charles Todd for over two decades. It might not be a surprise that Jesse Kellerman followed in the footsteps of his parents, crime writers Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, but as a successful solo author choosing to write with his dad might.
In their second outing, featuring deputy Coroner Clay Edison, the Kellerman’s have created a ripped from the headline’s novel. When call comes in of shots fired during a wild party with multiple victims, no one is expecting to find an extra body. A young Jane Doe has been strangled and finding out her identity and the identity of her killer leads Clay and the rest of the Bay Area investigators on a bizarre journey to a past that the murderer is trying desperately to erase. Making matters more complicated are the manipulation of the press and pressure of the public due to a storm of social media. The novel is carefully paced, and there is an array of parallel stories that are woven into the narrative making it something more than the standard police procedural mystery.
While the book is satisfying on its own, reading their first foray “Crime Scene”, will flesh out added elements of all the main characters actions and motivations, with the third installment “Half Moon Bay” expected next summer.