Lost Souls – Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman

JONATHAN Kellerman has spent decades writing thrillers featuring child psychologist Alex Delaware and hard-boiled Los Angeles detective Milo Sturgis.

In recent years he has teamed up with his son Jesse – already a successful novelist in his own right – to write about a new hero, a deputy coroner in the same city.

This is the third crime novel featuring Clay Edison, who is now juggling a baby who won't sleep with his demanding role helping the police in Los Angeles.

There are two strands to the story, which begins with the discovery of a baby's remains by contractors building university accommodation on the politically-sensitive site of a famous park in Berkeley.

Clay is contacted by a man who believes he knows who the baby was: a man obsessed with finding his sister who went missing 150 years before.

As Clay probes the secrets of the past he faces challenges in the present, with violence and danger waiting around the corner.

Lost Souls has much in common with the Alex Delaware books: a pacey story told mostly through quickfire dialogue and occasional twists, atmospheric Californian setting, and an interesting hero who we want to follow through his investigation.

In short, it's similar enough to a Delaware book to please fans like me, but different enough to avoid being a carbon copy.

David Knights