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A Measure of Darkness

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It's been a busy year for Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison. He's solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man--earning himself a suspension in the process. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend. And his brother's fresh out of prison, bringing with him a great big basket of crazy. Then the call comes in the middle of the night. It's a bad one. It's been a busy year for Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison. He's solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man--earning himself a suspension in the process. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend. And his brother's fresh out of prison, bringing with him a great big basket of crazy. Then the call comes in the middle of the night. It's a bad one. A party in West Oakland. An argument with the neighbors. A crowd in the street. Two guns, firing at random, spreading chaos and death. Nobody knows the body count yet. What Clay does know is this: it's going to be a long, long night. Longer than he ever could have imagined. Because when the dust settles, there's an extra victim. One who can't be accounted for. A young woman, strangled instead of shot, without ID and a stranger to all. She is Jane Doe. She is the Unknown. Clay's journey to give her a name and bring her justice will lead him into the bizarre--a seductive world where innocence and perversity meet and mingle; where right and wrong begin to blur.


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It's been a busy year for Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison. He's solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man--earning himself a suspension in the process. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend. And his brother's fresh out of prison, bringing with him a great big basket of crazy. Then the call comes in the middle of the night. It's a bad one. It's been a busy year for Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison. He's solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man--earning himself a suspension in the process. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend. And his brother's fresh out of prison, bringing with him a great big basket of crazy. Then the call comes in the middle of the night. It's a bad one. A party in West Oakland. An argument with the neighbors. A crowd in the street. Two guns, firing at random, spreading chaos and death. Nobody knows the body count yet. What Clay does know is this: it's going to be a long, long night. Longer than he ever could have imagined. Because when the dust settles, there's an extra victim. One who can't be accounted for. A young woman, strangled instead of shot, without ID and a stranger to all. She is Jane Doe. She is the Unknown. Clay's journey to give her a name and bring her justice will lead him into the bizarre--a seductive world where innocence and perversity meet and mingle; where right and wrong begin to blur.

30 review for A Measure of Darkness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Meet Clay Edison. He works as a Deputy for the coroners office. A tough and sometimes gruesome job. But someone’s got to do it. And the icing on the cake? It typically means being called up at all hours of the night to investigate yet another tragedy somewhere in the Bay Area. Clay is an extremely likable character that gives you full access into both his personal and professional life. Wheeee! A late night neighborhood party! Invites via social media to all who are connected through their fee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Meet Clay Edison. He works as a Deputy for the coroners office. A tough and sometimes gruesome job. But someone’s got to do it. And the icing on the cake? It typically means being called up at all hours of the night to investigate yet another tragedy somewhere in the Bay Area. Clay is an extremely likable character that gives you full access into both his personal and professional life. Wheeee! A late night neighborhood party! Invites via social media to all who are connected through their feed. Only this party ends with a bang! Literally. Clay is called out to sort through the mayhem for the coroners office. Hard enough on a good day. But add to that, his duties also include the heart-breaking task of notifying the victims and their families. I love the writing of both Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. I’ve been reading books by Jonathan for as long as I can remember! And an added bonus with this read? – we’re also treated to a cameo from his most popular character!! There is an easy flow to this book, taking you on a journey through their story. My one drawback - the number of characters and apparent victims that were being sorted out. At times, I felt it lacked direction...or maybe it was just me that couldn’t keep up.🤷🏻‍♀️ Despite that, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of this book. If you’re a fan of one or both of these authors then this is a must read for you. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 3 out of 5

    Matt

    Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman return with another successful collaborative effort as they continue their new series. This comes after a disastrous effort that many readers still remember. A late-night shooting outside an Oakland home brings Clay Edison to the scene. An investigator for the Coroner’s Office, Edison spends much of his time trying to locate the next of kin while also working to better understand the rationale, paralleling some of the work undertaken by the police. While the deaths t Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman return with another successful collaborative effort as they continue their new series. This comes after a disastrous effort that many readers still remember. A late-night shooting outside an Oakland home brings Clay Edison to the scene. An investigator for the Coroner’s Office, Edison spends much of his time trying to locate the next of kin while also working to better understand the rationale, paralleling some of the work undertaken by the police. While the deaths took place at a single location, bullets were not the only weapon of choice. Adding to the complications, Edison must try to identify the bodies, which proves harder than it might seem. The case branches out and forces Edison into the world of the transgender community, who protect themselves, erecting walls of privacy they feel prevents societal shaming. While Edison must walk on eggshells in this regard, it pales in comparison to some of the other mysteries of the case surrounding an alternative school with a history of bucking the mainstream. The further Edison digs, the more complicated things became. If this were not enough, Clay’s brother appears after a stint in jail with news of his own, enough to topple the apple cart for Clay and those close to him. The Kellerman men provide a fast-paced and highly entertaining piece that explores the criminal process from a unique perspective. Recommended for fans of both authors and their collaborative efforts, as well as readers who love a good police procedural. I have read most of what Jesse Kellerman has written, though I soured on him after reading the aforementioned literary disaster. However, when I saw such rave reviews for the series debut novel, I took the plunge and was pleased with the outcome. The Kellerman men have a great grasp of writing that puts the reader at ease and keeps them connection to the cases at hand. Clay Edison, a college basketball phenom whose career abruptly ended, has adapted to life as a coroner’s investigator. He’s a great character whose off-hand approach to life and work keeps the story moving along well. He has a way about him that has the reader wondering where his mind is going and what he is thinking, keeping the narrative twisting in numerous directions. The reader sees much of his backstory emerging with the arrival of his brother on the scene. Bringing up memories of their youth and the different paths they chose at an important fork in the road helps the reader to relate a little better with him. Adding a collection of characters who differ greatly from one another, the authors inject an interesting flavour to the story, such that the reader will not likely become tired as the narrative progresses. Tackling a few poignant societal issues, the authors provide an interesting—and I would venture to say, ‘healthy’—discussion of the issues, choosing to offer a perspective that is respectful without being soap box-esque. This provides the reader with some insight that may not have been at their disposal before, perhaps opening the minds or sparking an ongoing debate. The story certainly flows well and reads like a police procedural, though without much of the gritty banter between authorities and witnesses. The seamless writing style of these two established authors is reflected in the ease with which the reader can progress in short order. I am definitely looking forward for more in this series, though understand personal commitments of both Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman may make another novel a distant dream. Kudos, Messrs. Kellerman, for another stellar piece. You have great fan bases and I hope you’ll continue to cater to them for the foreseeable future. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  3. 3 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Dry but good story. 3.5 Stars ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the first time that I have read a book by this author, compilation of authors, I should say. I love cop fiction and suspense thrillers so I was really looking forward to this one. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the suspense portion of the story, mainly in that there was little to none. This is a crime solving, cop fiction story that was quite good. The author has good story to tell and it was engaging and interesting. I loved the old Dry but good story. 3.5 Stars ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the first time that I have read a book by this author, compilation of authors, I should say. I love cop fiction and suspense thrillers so I was really looking forward to this one. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the suspense portion of the story, mainly in that there was little to none. This is a crime solving, cop fiction story that was quite good. The author has good story to tell and it was engaging and interesting. I loved the old school crime solving and great characters they developed. They were unique and varied, which really held the story together. I also loved the tough to find connection that allowed the crime to be solved. Definitely a plus in the strategy The problem is that there was no feeling of excitement; no ramp up to a big ending. It just felt a little flat to me. It could be because the crime solving was developed over many months. With no pressing feeling of suspense in the story, it did not leave me overly excited about the story. Another thing that was interesting to me is as a first time reader, I didn’t know who the main character was. I had to go back to look up his job because I thought it was quite odd that a deputy coroner could do the things he was doing, yet I still wasn’t sure what he did. So in that aspect, I think you have to read other installment of the series to fully understand who the characters are. I would be interested in reading more from the author. As I said before, the story is solid and very unique so you get great entertainment. There’s just no drama and excitement to really get you to feel "all in" to the story. * Copy received for review consideration Full Review- http://amidlifewife.com/a-measure-of-...

  4. 3 out of 5

    Monnie

    After I finished the debut book in this series, "Crime Scene," last year, I knew I'd keep going. And sure enough - thanks to an advance review copy from the publisher - I got my chance at the follow-up. It is, I believe, better than the first, thus signaling that the father-son author combo may have found its groove. What it lacks in down-and-dirty action is more than compensated for by interesting, likable characters, a good story and expertly turned phrases. At its heart, though, it's a fairly After I finished the debut book in this series, "Crime Scene," last year, I knew I'd keep going. And sure enough - thanks to an advance review copy from the publisher - I got my chance at the follow-up. It is, I believe, better than the first, thus signaling that the father-son author combo may have found its groove. What it lacks in down-and-dirty action is more than compensated for by interesting, likable characters, a good story and expertly turned phrases. At its heart, though, it's a fairly basic police procedural; the main character, Clay Edison, is a deputy in the Coroner's Bureau. He's got Amy, his live-in love, a wayward just-out-of-jail brother with whom he has a love-hate relationship and, at the start of this one, some dead bodies that went bump in the night. But one of those bodies is not like the others; she was found elsewhere on the property, was strangled rather than shot and her identity can't be determined. Intrigued, Clay sets out to rectify that latter point, and once accomplished, begins to work on the whodunit and why. That trail leads to the victim's childhood school - a private one that touts total freedom for the students (think Montessori on speed). As all this is unraveling, Clay continues to work on the case of the other victims, one of whom has an identity crisis of his (or her) own. In the middle of it all, here comes his brother Luke - with a rather brash fiance in tow - claiming to be a changed man and offering Clay an investment deal guaranteed to earn a pot of money. Beyond that, the whole thing is a fairly straightforward look at how all of Clay's professional and personal scenarios are resolved (including his relationship with Amy). Although I'd personally like fewer characters to keep straight, most things get sorted out by the end (leaving, perhaps, one or two little issues unresolved, presumably to be continued in the next adventure. For sure I'll be watching for it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    CL

    I love both authors but I can now say I also love them as a writing team. I have read all of Jonathan Kellerman's fiction and some of Jesse's but I will read all of the Clay Edison books as they come out. I enjoy him on the same level as the Alex Delaware character. Clay Edison is the morgue worker who cannot let something go when the details of a death do not quite add up and during a block party shooting when a body is discovered in the backyard shed as more and more details are revealed somet I love both authors but I can now say I also love them as a writing team. I have read all of Jonathan Kellerman's fiction and some of Jesse's but I will read all of the Clay Edison books as they come out. I enjoy him on the same level as the Alex Delaware character. Clay Edison is the morgue worker who cannot let something go when the details of a death do not quite add up and during a block party shooting when a body is discovered in the backyard shed as more and more details are revealed something just does not quite add up. Once they identify the body things start falling into place. And it turns out this death is not the result of the shooting but an unrelated event that goes back to the dead girls past and an unconventional upbringing. As always Clay Edison is at the heart of it and it is a great read. I would like to thank Net Galley and the Publisher for a chance to read this ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathi Defranc

    This is a good read for those of us who enjoy police procedurals and crime stories. It kept my interest but was very quiet, I like a little more action. We meet up with Clay Edison, a Deputy at a coroner's office in California. In the middle of the night he is called to a shooting. It is on Almond Street where most residents are black, however a white woman who says she is an artist purchases a big house and has been having parties with a DJ and cash bar. A fight breaks out, and with people eve This is a good read for those of us who enjoy police procedurals and crime stories. It kept my interest but was very quiet, I like a little more action. We meet up with Clay Edison, a Deputy at a coroner's office in California. In the middle of the night he is called to a shooting. It is on Almond Street where most residents are black, however a white woman who says she is an artist purchases a big house and has been having parties with a DJ and cash bar. A fight breaks out, and with people everywhere trying to leave, shots ring out! Some people are killed, bringing Clay and fellow officers to the scene. It is very hectic and the officers spend hours going over everything, getting bodies out and finding more! Clay has one young lady who was run over by a car, and after long investigating finds that several of the dead were well related to each other. There is a good plot, with relationships between Clay, his wife and his brother. It is an interesting account with characters who kept me reading through until the end. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, the author's Kellerman and the publisher who I thank and I give my thoughts in this review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    A Measure of Darkness (Clay Edison #2) Last year I read Crime Scene, the first in this series in which father and son collaborate and liked it very much. (reviewed here) Long a fan of the Alex Delaware novels by Jonathan Kellerman and having enjoyed the first in the Clay Edison series, I genuinely looked forward to A Measure of Darkness. I'm sorry to say that this one didn't do much for me-- in characterization, plot, or writing. In some places it seemed to try to hard, in others, not hard enough A Measure of Darkness (Clay Edison #2) Last year I read Crime Scene, the first in this series in which father and son collaborate and liked it very much. (reviewed here) Long a fan of the Alex Delaware novels by Jonathan Kellerman and having enjoyed the first in the Clay Edison series, I genuinely looked forward to A Measure of Darkness. I'm sorry to say that this one didn't do much for me-- in characterization, plot, or writing. In some places it seemed to try to hard, in others, not hard enough. There were a couple of spots that I had to reread because I thought I'd missed something. Maybe it was just me because the ratings on Goodreads so far are three 5* and one 4*. Read in May; blog review scheduled for July 13. NetGalley/Random House/Ballentine Crime/Mystery. July 31, 2018. Print Length: 352 pages.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison caught a busy night as an attempt at neighborhood gentrification goes awry, leaving mayhem and disaster enough to shock even the hardest souls. This is a slow, quiet, methodical story about how Clay and the rest of law enforcement attempt to piece together what the hell happened and who it happened to. Especially difficult is the family notifications for people without the identification and who weren't born the way they now present themselves. To top Alameda County Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison caught a busy night as an attempt at neighborhood gentrification goes awry, leaving mayhem and disaster enough to shock even the hardest souls. This is a slow, quiet, methodical story about how Clay and the rest of law enforcement attempt to piece together what the hell happened and who it happened to. Especially difficult is the family notifications for people without the identification and who weren't born the way they now present themselves. To top it off, hostility and suspicion fill the neighborhood. It's definitely the East Bay and it's Bay Area weirdness with nonconformity being the rule not the exception, down to the school based on no rules and complete freedom to new communities based on confidentiality and a break with the past. An easy writing style to read. So absorbing you almost forget there's little in the way of bang bang shoot em up action.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paris (kerbytejas)

    A Measure of Darkness is the 2nd book in the Clay Edision series by collaborative Father and Son authors Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman . The series takes place in Northern California, centered around Oakland. The story opens up shortly after the close of Crime Scene, with what appears to be a request to quiet down a neighborhood party, but turns out to be far more. The overall story has lots of possibilities, but I felt that the pace was uneven, there were too many characters, and just too much A Measure of Darkness is the 2nd book in the Clay Edision series by collaborative Father and Son authors Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman . The series takes place in Northern California, centered around Oakland. The story opens up shortly after the close of Crime Scene, with what appears to be a request to quiet down a neighborhood party, but turns out to be far more. The overall story has lots of possibilities, but I felt that the pace was uneven, there were too many characters, and just too much going on. The multiple storylines include: • The death of Jasmine, a transgender character, and some of the family and societal issues surrounding her choice. • The death of Wynemah “Winnie” Ozawa, a young woman and her link to the Watermark School. • A homeless man, his choice of living arrangements and his sex offender status. • Clay’s brother Luke and his personal life. • The neighborhood fight, which may or may not be a gang-related event. • Clay & Amy’s personal life. I wanted to like the book, as I enjoyed the previous book Crime Scene, and I like Clay’s character. The working relationship between the detectives and the coroner’s office was humorous at times and offset the clutter of the story for me. By the time the Watermark School entered the story, I just couldn’t wait for the book to end, I just wanted to know how and why Winnie died. In a way, I almost think the authors felt that too much had happened in the book as well, as there was a “wrap-up” chapter to make sure the reader left without those nagging questions. For me this was a 2.75 star read out of 5 stars, which I will round up to 3.0 stars. I wish to thank the Publisher, Ballantine Books; the authors; and NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. The book will be available in multiple formats; the expected publication date is July 31st, 2018.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    3.75 stars. Clay Edison, deputy with the coroner's office, gets called to the aftermath of a party where several people are wounded or dead and not all by the gunshots fired. One person, a transgender, was killed when run over by a car and one woman was strangled in the back of the property. Clay thinks the death by strangulation is an oddity and he works with Detective Delilah Nwodo to figure out how this murder fits in. Let's be clear -- this is a police procedural not an action thriller. Clay 3.75 stars. Clay Edison, deputy with the coroner's office, gets called to the aftermath of a party where several people are wounded or dead and not all by the gunshots fired. One person, a transgender, was killed when run over by a car and one woman was strangled in the back of the property. Clay thinks the death by strangulation is an oddity and he works with Detective Delilah Nwodo to figure out how this murder fits in. Let's be clear -- this is a police procedural not an action thriller. Clay Edison investigates and that slows the reading down some but I like reading about how a case is solved. We learn more about Clay's personal life with his fiancee and his brother who has been in prison. I liked the way the author brought a brief mention of Alex Delaware into the process. Can't wait until the next book in that series comes out in February 2019!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin Taylor

    Please see all of my reviews on my blog at www.robinlovesreading.blogspot.com. 3.5 Stars Clay Edison, Deputy Sheriff for the Alameda County Coroner's office, has just had a banner year. He solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man. However, his job was put in jeopardy as he went beyond the bounds of his duties. Things are falling into line again for Clay, and as this novel begins, he receives a call in the middle of the night. Shots were fired at a party and innocent people were kill Please see all of my reviews on my blog at www.robinlovesreading.blogspot.com. 3.5 Stars Clay Edison, Deputy Sheriff for the Alameda County Coroner's office, has just had a banner year. He solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man. However, his job was put in jeopardy as he went beyond the bounds of his duties. Things are falling into line again for Clay, and as this novel begins, he receives a call in the middle of the night. Shots were fired at a party and innocent people were killed. After all of the identifications are made, there is one woman who cannot be accounted for, and she was strangled, not shot. She is a Jane Doe, and Clay is determined to identify her. Something curious - and I double-checked - I got to 46% before I fully understood Clay Edison's job. The blurb states that he is a deputy coroner, but his keen investigations had me curious. If he were indeed the coroner, would he have had the leeway to investigate as he did? Please pardon my ignorance. Although I generally strive to read series for that ideal sense of continuity, I did not have the opportunity to read the first in the series, Crime Scene, and so I wonder if indeed A Measure of Darkness served well as a standalone. Due to a rather stilted delivery, the patently obvious fact that the majority of the writing was done by the younger Kellerman, and a surprising lack of the suspense that I imagined would be in this story, I had a bit of difficulty staying engaged. However, as this is a joint venture between father-and-son writers, and this is indeed my favorite genre, I will be reading the next in this series. I hope that when I do that I will have enough of a connection with Clay Edison to better enjoy the story, as I actually do like Clay's character. By the way, Child psychologist Alex Delaware, from Jonathan Kellerman's NYT bestselling series, has a cameo in this book. Many thanks to Random House/Ballantine Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    It appears I may be in the minority with this one. I really enjoyed the first book by this father and son team, so I was looking forward to picking up the second one. Unfortunately I was disappointed but I think this is mainly because of my own issues with some of the writing. I noticed that race comes up a lot with Jonathan Kellerman. Personally if it’s a good story I don’t care I’m reading about purple and green aliens, but this one got to me because of the “black lives matter” issue. I live r It appears I may be in the minority with this one. I really enjoyed the first book by this father and son team, so I was looking forward to picking up the second one. Unfortunately I was disappointed but I think this is mainly because of my own issues with some of the writing. I noticed that race comes up a lot with Jonathan Kellerman. Personally if it’s a good story I don’t care I’m reading about purple and green aliens, but this one got to me because of the “black lives matter” issue. I live right outside of the area where the Michael brown shooting occurred… Which also happened to be the street my mother grew up on. It seems that so much of the country has made what occurred that day into something...light? I’m struggling to come up with the correct words and freezing but I guess what I’m saying is I personally have friends and family members who were hurt, in danger and lost their businesses because of this tragedy and it’s hard for me to Read about it without feeling something. I’m not saying that Mr. Kellerman and his son did this on purpose, just saying how I felt about it.

  13. 3 out of 5

    2shay

    Review by 2shay.......... I have had a long running relationship with Alex Delaware, although it’s doubtful that he’s aware. So, I guess the relationship is with an iconic character created by Mr. Jonathan Kellerman. When this book became available on NetGalley I was all over the request button. I was a little disappointed. Everything I loved about the Alex Delaware novels is missing. Mr. Kellerman brought a certain kind of verve and passion to the Delaware books. This one is actually a fairly mun Review by 2shay.......... I have had a long running relationship with Alex Delaware, although it’s doubtful that he’s aware. So, I guess the relationship is with an iconic character created by Mr. Jonathan Kellerman. When this book became available on NetGalley I was all over the request button. I was a little disappointed. Everything I loved about the Alex Delaware novels is missing. Mr. Kellerman brought a certain kind of verve and passion to the Delaware books. This one is actually a fairly mundane police procedural. It’s well enough written, with good flow and progression, easy enough to read...but it’s just a little boring. I apologize to hard-core fans, but that’s my opinion. A lot of readers will like this book. You may be one. Pick up a copy and... Enjoy! ARC graciously provided by Random House and NetGalley for an honest and voluntary review.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Joyce

    Another fascinating five star read. Clay, a coroner in Oakland, is called out along with his coworkers to a shooting that occurred at a pay your way party in a neighborhood that was gradually being regentrified. It is a horrible scene with a number a people shot, one run over and a child accidentally killed in his home by a stray bullet. Clay also learns of another murder victim hidden in a shed in the back yard. The plot is remarkably complex and as interesting as it is complicated. The charact Another fascinating five star read. Clay, a coroner in Oakland, is called out along with his coworkers to a shooting that occurred at a pay your way party in a neighborhood that was gradually being regentrified. It is a horrible scene with a number a people shot, one run over and a child accidentally killed in his home by a stray bullet. Clay also learns of another murder victim hidden in a shed in the back yard. The plot is remarkably complex and as interesting as it is complicated. The characters are believable, something that is often missing in the genre. It was an excellent novel (the Kellerman’s make amazing writing teams) and one I would highly recommend. Thanks to Net Galley and Ballantine for an ARC for an honest review.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Mal Warwick

    The Kellerman family is a writing phenomenon. Papa Jonathan has written 33 thrillers in his Alex Delaware series as well as at least 14 other novels and five nonfiction books. Mama Faye is the author of 25 Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mysteries plus eight other novels. Their son, Jesse, has written a total of 12 novels, four of them collaborations with his father. The most recent production of the Kellerman father-son team is A Measure of Darkness, the second novel featuring Oakland Coroner's D The Kellerman family is a writing phenomenon. Papa Jonathan has written 33 thrillers in his Alex Delaware series as well as at least 14 other novels and five nonfiction books. Mama Faye is the author of 25 Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mysteries plus eight other novels. Their son, Jesse, has written a total of 12 novels, four of them collaborations with his father. The most recent production of the Kellerman father-son team is A Measure of Darkness, the second novel featuring Oakland Coroner's Deputy Clay Edison. A former beat cop, Edison can't seem to reconcile himself to the fact that the Coroner's Office doesn't employ detectives. He has developed the habit of pursuing investigations far beyond the call of duty and often against orders. In A Measure of Darkness, he sticks so closely to the detective leading a murder investigation that she takes to calling him "Barnacle." A Berkeley cop Edison once knew gave him that nickname. Somehow, it seems to have stuck. (Pun intended.) The latest from the Kellerman father-son team This latest product of the Kellerman father-son team involves the investigations into the death of four bodies that turn up after a violent confrontation at a late-night West Oakland party. Shooting began when three young neighborhood men approached a large group of mostly white men and women to ask that they turn down the music. A white woman had recently bought the old property and renovated it. As Edison notes after reaching the scene, "The problem was gentrification and a shortage of affordable housing, when you started kicking people out of a neighborhood that had been theirs for decades." Clearly, Edison is politically aware. He seems well suited for the Berkeley-Oakland area. A star basketball player, now a coroner's deputy By the way, Edison was a star basketball player at UC Berkeley. In A Measure of Darkness, he demonstrates how he managed to do so well even though he is a little short at 6'3" for a top college basketball player: in a competition with his brother, he sinks 47 straight shots from the foul line. If you don't think that's impressive, just try it sometime.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    *sigh* I'm so bummed about this book. The first chapter was genius, money in the bank: a gripping hook with carefully chosen details that made me care about the characters and invest in the story. So much for that investment. Each ensuing chapter squandered that genius until I found myself near the end of the book, fishing around in the bottom of the barrel for what turned out to be nothing. I skimmed the last few chapters. Who skims the last act of a thriller? It was all just so boring. There was *sigh* I'm so bummed about this book. The first chapter was genius, money in the bank: a gripping hook with carefully chosen details that made me care about the characters and invest in the story. So much for that investment. Each ensuing chapter squandered that genius until I found myself near the end of the book, fishing around in the bottom of the barrel for what turned out to be nothing. I skimmed the last few chapters. Who skims the last act of a thriller? It was all just so boring. There was too much dialogue...boring dialogue. Ugh. Boring details, boring bad guys, boring good guys. The story had no focus, it meandered around and around, first this suspect, then that...weeks pass...then months...I forgot who was who, or why anything or anyone was important. I'm so disappointed. I didn't hate the book, I can't despise it or scorn it, but ... bleah.

  17. 5 out of 5

    BookAddict

    Clay Edison is a conscientious deputy with the Coroner's office and gets called in the middle of the night to a shooting with multiple victims. In addition to trying to maintain and move forward his relationship with his girlfriend, his brother is out of prison and back in his life, and Clay's bum knee has a way of slowing him down, especially in a foot chase with criminal suspects. I’ve been a Kellerman fan for years so I was eager to read an advance copy of this book when I heard about it throu Clay Edison is a conscientious deputy with the Coroner's office and gets called in the middle of the night to a shooting with multiple victims. In addition to trying to maintain and move forward his relationship with his girlfriend, his brother is out of prison and back in his life, and Clay's bum knee has a way of slowing him down, especially in a foot chase with criminal suspects. I’ve been a Kellerman fan for years so I was eager to read an advance copy of this book when I heard about it through NetGalley. Maybe I’m spoiled by so many great Delaware and Sturgis mysteries, but this wasn’t the thriller I anticipated. Mystery, yes, with a little suspense, but it the lacked intrigue and intensity I’ve come to expect from Jonathan Kellerman. It was a good story and I kept reading because I wanted to find out how everything worked out, but there was no compulsion to stay glued to the page until the end. It never really sucked me in, and truthfully, I could have just as easily set it down and not finished it. The main characters lacked dimension and unique characteristics to make them stand out in my mind, with the secondary characters of Clay's brother and fiancée being the most memorable. If you’re a Kellerman fan, you’ll enjoy this book well enough, and I’ll probably try another novel by this father and son team at some point, in hopes I find a more gripping story in future work. *I reviewed this book freely and voluntarily, having made no commitment to provide a review and receiving no compensation of any kind from any source for this review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    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 t 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. 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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Jaeger

    Clay Edison, An Alameda Country Coroner’s Deputy is called to a shooting in the middle of the night right before Christmas. Several dead on the street and one lone girl, a Jane Doe, found dead in a shed. Her injuries are nothing like the gun shot victims, so was she part of the spree, or another, different killing? Is it even a murder at all, but a simple overdose? Those questions plaque Clay, who’s the kind of guy who can’t let anything go. Working with one of the department’s detectives to try a Clay Edison, An Alameda Country Coroner’s Deputy is called to a shooting in the middle of the night right before Christmas. Several dead on the street and one lone girl, a Jane Doe, found dead in a shed. Her injuries are nothing like the gun shot victims, so was she part of the spree, or another, different killing? Is it even a murder at all, but a simple overdose? Those questions plaque Clay, who’s the kind of guy who can’t let anything go. Working with one of the department’s detectives to try and find out who the Jane Doe actually is, and what part if any she played in the in holiday murders, takes Clay on a twisted journey over several months. A progressive school, a cast of shady UnSubs, his current girlfriend and the appearance of his brother back in his life all make Clay juggle: his time, his resources, and his even his patience. Dr. Alex Delaware makes an appearance via phone to help Clay solve the mystery before him. An enjoyable novel. Jesse Kellerman’s writing style is a lot like his fathers’ – quick, succinct, and descriptive ( all good things!) and this book was a pleasure to read. Thank you to Netgalley for the Arc. 4.5 stars.

  20. 3 out of 5

    BookNerdsBrainDump

    Short Take: Interesting, but not exciting. I’ve seen a lot of memes that end in “...there are two kinds of people”, and I have found a new one to add: People who like mysteries, and people who like thrillers. There’s a TON of overlap in the genres, of course. They’ve practically become synonymous over the years, to the point that “Mystery/Thriller” is one category, and many readers don’t even realize that they are, in fact, two entirely different things. Which is where A Measure of Darkness comes Short Take: Interesting, but not exciting. I’ve seen a lot of memes that end in “...there are two kinds of people”, and I have found a new one to add: People who like mysteries, and people who like thrillers. There’s a TON of overlap in the genres, of course. They’ve practically become synonymous over the years, to the point that “Mystery/Thriller” is one category, and many readers don’t even realize that they are, in fact, two entirely different things. Which is where A Measure of Darkness comes in. The book opens with the charming Hattie preparing dinner for her visiting grandson, Isaiah, in a part of town that used to be a neighborhood, then became the bad part of town, and now is starting to undergo gentrification, with all the problems that tend to follow. Problems such as eccentric new neighbors, who have bought and renovated an old Victorian, and now throw parties that feature loud music and a parade of people in varying degrees of altered consciousness in and out at all hours. Isaiah goes across the street to ask them politely to keep it down a bit, for his grandmother’s sake, and then we jump ahead a few hours to when it’s all gone wrong: several people have been shot and killed, a person trying to get away runs over another partygoer, and oh yeah, there’s another dead body in the gardening shed, which may or may not have anything to do with all the other carnage. Enter Clay Ellison. He’s a sheriff’s deputy who works with the coroner’s office, and it falls to him to identify the various bodies, and notify the families. He also volunteers to help the detective who’s actually investigating the murders find the killer(s). In the end, all Secrets Are Revealed, and some of them are pretty good, including a strange cult-like “school”. Watching Clay work through the various puzzles and clues is interesting, and it seems like a pretty realistic depiction of how investigators do what they do. The problem I had is that there are no real stakes for Clay. He doesn’t face any danger or threats, or even an argument with his girlfriend. There’s a bit of tension between him and his brother, but nothing out of the ordinary. The worst thing he personally comes up against is that other cops think that he tends to get involved in investigations that aren’t assigned to him, which, well, the whole book is him working an investigation that wasn’t assigned to him. And his job isn’t threatened or anything, it’s merely an observation by a colleague. So while it’s satisfying to see a puzzle get solved, it’s hard to get deeply invested in a story where a guy goes to work, does his job well, and goes home. Most of us read to escape that kind of thing. The Nerd’s Rating: THREE HAPPY NEURONS (and a sweet pair of extendable angel wings. For all my party needs!)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    5 stars Deputy Coroner Clay Edison gets a phone call in the middle of the night. There has been a shooting at a big party. Little does he know what awaits him. Partygoers were shot, innocent bystanders were shot and a six-year old child sleeping in a basement was also shot and killed. Clay and his team and several police are at the scene for hours. When he is just about ready to head back to base, he gets a call from a young police officer. He found another body. But this one is partially hidden 5 stars Deputy Coroner Clay Edison gets a phone call in the middle of the night. There has been a shooting at a big party. Little does he know what awaits him. Partygoers were shot, innocent bystanders were shot and a six-year old child sleeping in a basement was also shot and killed. Clay and his team and several police are at the scene for hours. When he is just about ready to head back to base, he gets a call from a young police officer. He found another body. But this one is partially hidden in a shed. It is a young woman and she’s been strangled. She has no identification on her. One of the hospitalized people has died. Now there are six victims. When Clay and co-worker Zaragoza arrive at the hospital to pick up the body, they learn that the shooter walked into the hospital with a gunshot wound himself. His name is Isaiah Branch, aged nineteen. Isaiah, however, denies being the shooter. He names a couple of friends who were involved and doing the shooting. Denied the permission to put Jane Doe’s picture in the paper, Clay and Detective Nwodo go to the vigil looking for anything or anyone who acts suspiciously. They spot one of the attackers and chase him down the street. When captured, he swears and fights the arrest. After much chasing leads and tracking down clues, they finally have an identity for Jane Doe. She is Wynemah “Winnie” Ozawa. She is the daughter of the school principal of the Watermark School. It is an alternative learning school. Much searching and investigation later, a homeless man is arrested for Winnie’s death. But Clay gets an idea. He goes back to re-interview one of the witnesses. She tells him a story and is obviously covering up for someone. It all leads back to the Watermark School somehow. When Winnie’s real murderer is identified, the story reaches a high point. It is all action in the scenes. The motive for the killing is senseless and destructive. This is a very well written/plotted novel. One can certainly see Jonathan Kellerman’s strong influence in the crafting of this novel. I really liked the relationship between Clay and Amy. His family sounds so typical. I’ve truly enjoyed all of the Jonathan Kellerman books I have read, and there have been many, many. I’ve never read any of Jesse’s work, so it was an interesting and rewarding journey into his space as well. I fully intend to look into his other novels, too. I would very much like to read more about Clay Edison. How about it guys? I want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing – Ballantine/Ballantine Books for forwarding to me a copy of this most wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    A Measure of Darkness is the second installment in the Jonathan Kellerman and son Jesse Kellerman’s Clay Edison series. Each entry is better than the last. In this case Coroner Investigator Edison and his team investigate a series of killings occurring at a West Oakland, California party. Several victims are dead and there are numerous causes of death. It is a gruesome scene that requires countless hours of investigation. The story follows Clay as he investigates the victims as well as possible A Measure of Darkness is the second installment in the Jonathan Kellerman and son Jesse Kellerman’s Clay Edison series. Each entry is better than the last. In this case Coroner Investigator Edison and his team investigate a series of killings occurring at a West Oakland, California party. Several victims are dead and there are numerous causes of death. It is a gruesome scene that requires countless hours of investigation. The story follows Clay as he investigates the victims as well as possible suspects. Each avenue of investigation is twisted and full of lies and inconsistencies. Exactly what all investigators face daily. The story meanders but like any good detective, when all the clues are in the reader is rewarded with the solution to the crime.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Jill

    This is the second book in the series featuring Clay Edison. He is back and it seems his job is featured more this time and he has a new girlfriend, plus his family, specifically his brother, is playing a more prominent role. Once again he is fighting for the underdog which this time is a victim from the party crime scene that doesn’t seemed to be part of what happened there. His never give up attitude brings an unexpected conclusion to the woman’s murder.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gina Moltz

    Great story and I loved the main character. But I found there were so many other characters and delelooing leads that I got confused at times! Good think I am not a detective. Or maybe I should just take notes when I read this genre!

  25. 3 out of 5

    Judy Frey

    I’m really enjoying the new Clay Edison series. Have always loved Jonathan Kellerman and have read every one of his books. Enjoying his collaboration with his son, Jesse. This is the second Clay Edison book. In some ways, I loved the first more. But this is a good story, crisp writing, fleshed out characters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Not great literature, but I liked it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Rogers

    This is my first Kellerman book and I liked it. Is by Father and Son. Is about Clay Edison He works through the Coroner's office. Is a good mystery with lots of action and surprises. Will read this pair again. Thanks to Goodreads.

  28. 3 out of 5

    Cathy

    Another good solid read from Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. This is the 2nd book in this series and so far it's adding up to be a great series. Thank you Netgalley and the Publishers for allowing me to read this ARC book and give my own personal opinion.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Doris Powell

    Clay Edison is a deputy coroner. He is also a detective which he tries to hide because it gets him in trouble with his boss. He doesn't seem to be able to stop his detecting when he should be working as a coroner. His most recent case involves a free-for-all school called the Watermark School. In this school the children are allowed to do whatever they want to do. He is also working on a case involving Jasmine Gomez. Her birth name is Kevin Gomez. He tries to find her family but gets a lot of re Clay Edison is a deputy coroner. He is also a detective which he tries to hide because it gets him in trouble with his boss. He doesn't seem to be able to stop his detecting when he should be working as a coroner. His most recent case involves a free-for-all school called the Watermark School. In this school the children are allowed to do whatever they want to do. He is also working on a case involving Jasmine Gomez. Her birth name is Kevin Gomez. He tries to find her family but gets a lot of resistance. This book was kind of disjointed and hard to follow. But I liked Alex Delaware in it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Cook Lauer

    3/5. I miss Dr. Delaware! This new protagonist, Clay Edison, just doesn't do it for me. This book is a quick read, as the deputy coroner is busy with a mass shooting in an East Bay neighborhood. I just can't warm to Edison, who's too much of an ex-jock and rather boring, lacking the psychological insight of Dr. Delaware. Kellerman co-wrote this book with his son, Jesse Kellerman. The younger Kellerman wrote a book I truly enjoyed -- the Golem of Hollywood-- so I know he has it in him. It gets a 3/5. I miss Dr. Delaware! This new protagonist, Clay Edison, just doesn't do it for me. This book is a quick read, as the deputy coroner is busy with a mass shooting in an East Bay neighborhood. I just can't warm to Edison, who's too much of an ex-jock and rather boring, lacking the psychological insight of Dr. Delaware. Kellerman co-wrote this book with his son, Jesse Kellerman. The younger Kellerman wrote a book I truly enjoyed -- the Golem of Hollywood-- so I know he has it in him. It gets a 3 for being a decent enough beach book, but otherwise, meh.

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