A Book Spy Review: ‘Crime Scene’ by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman

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The father and son team of Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman deliver the first book in a new series starring Deputy Sheriff Clay Edison.

Clay is a former athlete turned investigator for the Alameda County coroner’s office in California. After receiving a call out to a crime scene involving a dead body at the bottom of a staircase, his initial reaction is to rule the death accidental without any foul play. The victim’s daughter, though, isn’t convinced and she pleads with Clay to consider the possibility that someone intended to kill her father.

There are five categories of death–natural causes, accidental, suicide, murder, or undetermined–and it’s Clay’s job to decide which one each case falls under. For the most part, his job stops there, as he’s not the one actually chasing bad guys. He’s paid to determine how they died, not why someone might want to kill them.

In the case of Doctor Rennart, Clay searches the scene for any indication that the man didn’t just trip down the stairs–something that happens on a daily basis around the globe. After relenting, initially due to the urging of Rennart’s good-looking daughter, Clay begins probing into other theories and finds that there’s a very real possibility that the doctor’s death might not be as innocent as he first thought.

The story is well-written and the new character is interesting. Dodging the same over-played detective bit, the Kellermans make Clay unique by giving him a psychology degree and making him work out of the coroner’s office. It’s not an entirely new format, but their spin on it is fun and different enough that the story feels fresh. Best of all, for longtime fans of Jonathan Kellerman, one of his most well-known characters make a surprise cameo appearance in Crime Scene

If you’re a fan of either Kellermans’ previous work, then you know what you’re getting–a steady plot with colorful characters and a few twists and turns along the way.

Book Details

Author: Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman 
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399594604
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.0/10
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