Measure of Darkness
August 2nd, 2018 by diane92345

Five people are killed after a house party gets lethal in Measure of Darkness.

A confrontation between neighbors kills three including one of the combatants. A six-year-old is hit in his bed from crossfire. In the ensuing uproar, another party guest is run down in the street by a panicked young girl. But what of the girl found hidden in a shed strangled?

Coroner investigator, Clay Edison, is trying to determine the former name of the car victim to find her next of kin. Born a male and living on the street as female, the trans community shuts down Clay’s search for her parents. In the meantime, Clay hunts for the strangulation victim’s identity and the reason for her death.

Isaiah is targeted as the shooter when he goes to the hospital for a gunshot wound.  He, one of the dead and their childhood friends Tuan can be seen on the many YouTube videos showing the confrontation.  Tuan has fled. In the video, returning Tuan’s fire is Dane who is also in the wind.

Clay and Amy have their parents over for Christmas dinner. Luke, Clay’s just out of prison brother announces his engagement to surprise guest Andrea.

This is second book in the Clay Edison series after Crime Scene (review here). The books do not have to be read in order. The conclusion is twisty and satisfying. Giving a coroner investigator’s viewpoint within a traditional police procedural, Measure of Darkness is highly recommended to mystery fans. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Ballantine, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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July 23rd, 2017 by diane92345

Innovative Detective in a good solid mystery.

Crime Scene is the first book in a new series by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. It features sworn Coroner Division Deputy Clay Edison. Clay’s job is to investigate the scenes of deaths to determine the manner of death. There are only five choices: homicide, suicide, natural, accidental and undetermined. Clay is called out for Walter Rennert, who appears to have slipped on the stairs inside his home. It looks accidental to both Clay and Berkeley Police Officer Schickman so why does Walter’s daughter keep insisting it is murder?

The characters and dialogue in this novel are excellent. Each person had their own voice and motivation. The plot had a couple of twists that were surprising. My only complaint was that I wanted more details about Clay’s other cases. I wanted to learn more about how coroner investigators do their work and decide whether an autopsy is required or not. Hopefully, this will be addressed in forthcoming books in the series.

I would recommend this book to fans of unconventional police procedurals like John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers and CJ Box’s Joe Pickett. Even though Clay is technically not with the police, it has the same atmosphere.

Thanks to the publisher, Ballantine Books, and netgalley for an advanced review copy of the book.

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