Half Moon Bay (Clay Edison #3), by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman

Eight stars

Returning for another father/son collaboration, Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman present the third novel in their Clay Edison series. Adding depth not only to their protagonist, but to the plot, the Kellermans left me remembering why I enjoy this series and their writing. Father to a young daughter, Coroner Clay Edison is called out to a park in Berkeley after a construction crew unearths the remains of a young child. Edison does what he can in a professional capacity, though this does not appear to be a new body dump, which makes things a little more complicated. After learning that the body dates back over fifty years, Edison takes a personal interest in the case and works it as best he can. Identifying the remains and sifting through some independent media sources from 1969, Edison makes some connections to the parents of the child, paying a visit to a father who has no idea what is going on. However, Edison commits to hashing out the story and continues down many a rabbit hole. What first appears to be an abandoned body soon turns into something a great deal more complicated, which includes an FBI angle that muddies the waters. Torn between this pet project and his own young daughter, Clay Edison will have to do everything he can to put a face to the victim and develop a foundational story to provide the authorities so that it is not another forgotten case left to gather dust. An interesting addition to the series by two accomplished authors in their own rights, which builds on the protagonist to lure in new series fans. Recommended to those who like their crime thrillers that tackle the genre from a different perspective, as well as the reader who is a fan of either (or both) Kellerman authors.

I have a history reading Jesse Kellerman and was pleased to have the chance to see how well he meshes with his father’s style. The two work well together and provide the reader with an interesting approach to crime thrillers that skirt the borders of a police procedural. Clay Edison emerges from this piece with a great deal more emotional connection to the reader, particularly because the central victim and his own daughter were both so young. The reader can see the strains the case has on Edison, who remains strong and focussed on the task at hand. There is a great deal of character development here with little time to look backwards. I enjoyed this, as it kept things moving in a forward direction and left me wanting to know even more. There are other characters who play central roles throughout this piece and help to strengthen the foundation of an already decent story. These influences create a wonderful mix for the Kellermans as they build on a case that spans five decades. The story itself was quite well paced and kept building as the plot thickened. I enjoyed the contrast that Edison is forced to offer between the case and spending time with his daughter, which was a brilliant thing for the authors to do. The action never stops and even when things seem to hit a dead end, there is something there to resurrect them and new pathways are forged to keep the reader hooked. With some social commentary about identity in an era before computers, the authors educate readers while entertaining them throughout. While this was a quick read for me, those who wish to take a little more time will not loose the impact of the story. The mix of chapter lengths can only help create a buzz that will have the reader coming back for more with each page turn. I can only hope that there are more novels in the series to come, as this is surely one I will follow for as long as there are ideas to hash out.

Kudos, Messrs. Kellerman, for a wonderful addition to the series. I am hooked and hope others find this series to their liking as well!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons