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Jesse Kellerman books in order

Jesse Kellerman is an American award-winning playwright and bestselling author of mystery novels.

Born in Los Angeles, California as the oldest child in the family, Jesse is the only son of the bestselling mystery authors Faye Kellerman and Jonathan Kellerman.

He attended Harvard, where he studied psychology, and also studied playwriting at Brandeis University.

As a playwright, he has received several accolades, including the Princess Grace Award for "Things Beyond Our Control" and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle for "The Genius"/"Les Visages".

Passionate about fiction writing just like his parents, Jesse has co-authored two mystery series with his father, namely the Jacob Lev Series and Clay Edison Series.

At one point the lead guitarist for the Los Angeles-based indie rock band Don't Shoot the Dog, Jesse currently lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and children.

More about Jesse Kellerman

Genre: Mystery

Born: 1978

United States


Non Series

  • Sunstroke (2005)
  • Trouble (2007)
  • The Genius (2008)
  • The Executor (2010)
  • Potboiler (2012)

Clay Edison (Co-authored with Jonathan Kellerman)

  1. Crime Scene (2017)
  2. A Measure of Darkness (2018)
  3. Half Moon Bay (2020)
  4. The Burning (2021)

Jacob Lev (Co-authored with Jonathan Kellerman)

  1. The Golem of Hollywood (2013)
  2. The Golem of Paris (2015)

Warmer collection

  1. Controller (Book Three) (2018)
Clay Edison (Co-authored with Jonathan Kellerman)
Jacob Lev (Co-authored with Jonathan Kellerman)
Warmer collection

Detailed book overview

Non Series


When businessman Carl Perreira disappears during his vacation in Mexico, it’s his loyal assistant Gloria who makes call after call to find out what happened. After all, she’s been secretly in love with him for years.

When she’s told that Carl has died in a car accident, it’s Gloria who tries, to no avail, to track down the next of kin or a copy of Carl’s will. And it’s Gloria, heartbroken, who finally decides to journey across the border herself to retrieve his body.

But the deeper into the desert she travels, the more shocking the discoveries she makes. About Carl. About herself. And about how elusive and dangerous the truth can be.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2005
Ebook: B0818YD48T
Publisher: Berkley

Saving lives is Jonah Stem's job-but he usually does it at the hospital, not at 3 a.m. on the dark streets of Manhattan. 

When he impulsively intervenes to save a beautiful woman from a man menacing her with a knife, killing the attacker in the process, he is transformed from an overworked medical student to a hero in the media spotlight. 

The woman, Eve Gones, is profoundly grateful, and wants to show it. Before long, they're engaged in a wildly passionate love affair. An affair that Eve doesn't want to end. Ever.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2007
Ebook: B009X5BVGU
Publisher: Berkley
The Genius

In a decaying New York slum, a tenant named Victor Cracke has disappeared, leaving behind countless cardboard boxes of strange, original artwork. Gallery owner Ethan Muller can see their brilliance—and their moneymaking potential. Strictly speaking, the drawings don’t belong to Ethan. But great art demands an audience, and before long Ethan’s wildly successful show is being covered by the Times…where it attracts the attention of the police. Because the subjects of the pictures look exactly like the victims in a long-cold murder case. Ethan has received a letter saying stop stop stop. And the still-missing genius may be the link to a madman—or the madman himself…

NB: This book is also known as The Brutal Art.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0515146059
Publisher: Berkley
The Executor

Joseph Geist takes a job as a "conversationalist" for a wealthy, enigmatic woman who offers him a place to stay in her big, beautiful house. But as his friendship with his employer evolves from conversationalist to lodger to caretaker, Joseph finds himself at odds with the woman's troubled nephew, and decides to do whatever is necessary to maintain his position.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0515149043
Publisher: Berkley

Missing for months after a tragic boating accident, William de Vallée, the superstar thriller writer, is pronounced dead. His oldest friend, Arthur Pfefferkorn, receives the news with an unsettling mix of grief and envy. A middle-aged college professor with long-dead literary aspirations, Pfefferkorn can’t help but feel outshone by his friend’s success—especially since he married the woman Pfefferkorn loved.

But now Bill is gone, and Pfefferkorn is there to comfort Carlotta in her time of grief. Reconnecting with de Vallée’s widow makes more than one of his dreams come true . . . until it plunges him into a shadowy world of intrigue and double crosses, where no one can be trusted—and nothing can be taken seriously.

NB: This book is also known as I'll Catch You.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0515153026
Publisher: Berkley

Clay Edison (Co-authored with Jonathan Kellerman)

Crime Scene

Natural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat—not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.

Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor, done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that her father has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.

What emerges is a history of scandal and violence, and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed. Walter Rennert, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one. And when Clay learns that a colleague of Rennert’s died in a nearly identical manner, he begins to question everything in the official record.

All the while, his relationship with Tatiana is evolving into something forbidden. The closer they grow, the more determined he becomes to catch her father’s killer—even if he has to overstep his bounds to do it.

The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul. It’s his job to listen to the tales the dead tell. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0399594625
Publisher: Ballantine Books
A Measure of Darkness

Former star basketball player Clay Edison is busy. 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. Plus his brother’s fresh out of prison, bringing with him a whole new set of complications.

Then the phone rings in the dead of night.

A wild party in a gentrifying East Bay neighborhood. A heated argument that spills into the street. Gunshots. Chaos.

For Clay and his fellow coroners, it’s the start of a long night and the first of many to come. The victims keep piling up. What begins as a community tragedy soon becomes lurid fodder for social media.

Then the smoke clears and the real mystery emerges—one victim’s death doesn’t match the others. Brutalized and abandoned, stripped of ID, and left to die: She is Jane Doe, a human question mark. And it falls to Clay to give her a name and a voice.

Haunted by the cruelty of her death, he embarks upon a journey into the bizarre, entering a hidden world where innocence and perversity meet and mingle. There, his relentless pursuit of the truth opens the gateway to a dark and baffling past—and brings him right into the line of fire.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0399594656
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Half Moon Bay

Clay Edison has his hands full. He’s got a new baby who won't sleep. He’s working the graveyard shift. And he’s trying, for once, to mind his own business. Then comes the first call. Workers demolishing a local park have made a haunting discovery: the decades-old skeleton of a child. But whose? And how did it get there?

No sooner has Clay begun to investigate than he receives a second call—this one from a local businessman, wondering if the body could belong to his sister. She went missing fifty years ago, the man says. Or at least I think she did. It’s a little complicated.

And things only get stranger from there. Clay’s relentless search for answers will unearth a history of violence and secrets, revolution and betrayal. Because in this town, the past isn’t dead. It’s very much alive. And it can be murderous.

NB: This book is also known as Lost Souls.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-0525620105
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Burning

A raging wildfire. A massive blackout. A wealthy man shot to death in his palatial hilltop home.

For Clay Edison, it’s all in a day’s work. As a deputy coroner, caring for the dead, he speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. He prides himself on an unflinching commitment to the truth. Even when it gets him into trouble.

Then, while working the murder scene, Clay is horrified to discover a link to his brother, Luke. Horrified. But not surprised. Luke is fresh out of prison and struggling to stay on the straight and narrow.

And now he’s gone AWOL.

The race is on for Clay to find him before anyone else can. Confronted with Luke’s legacy of violence, Clay is forced to reckon with his own suspicions, resentments, and loyalties. Is his brother a killer? Or could he be the victim in all of this, too?

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-0525620136
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Jacob Lev (Co-authored with Jonathan Kellerman)

The Golem of Hollywood

Detective Jacob Lev has awakened dazed and confused: it appears he picked up a woman the night before, but can’t remember anything about it. And then suddenly, she’s gone. Not long after, he’s dispatched to a murder scene in a house in the Hollywood hills. There is no body, only a head. And seared into a kitchen counter is a message: the Hebrew word for justice.

Lev is about to embark on an odyssey—through Los Angeles, London, and Prague, through the labyrinthine mysteries of a grotesque ancient legend, and most of all, through himself. All that he has believed to be true will be upended. And not only his world, but the world itself, will be changed.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0425276136
Publisher: Berkley
The Golem of Paris

It’s been more than a year since LAPD detective Jacob Lev learned the remarkable truth about his family, and he’s not coping well. He’s back to drinking, the LAPD Special Projects Department continues to shadow him, and the memory of a woman named Mai haunts him. 

And while Jacob has tried to build a bridge to his mother, she remains imprisoned inside her own tattered mind. Then he comes across the file for a gruesome unsolved murder that brings the two halves of his life into startling collision. 

Finding the killer will take him halfway around the world, to Paris. It’s a dangerous search for truth that plunges him into the past. And for Jacob Lev, there is no place more frightening.

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0515156089
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Warmer collection

Controller (Book Three)

What happens when temperatures flare between a mother and son? A few degrees make all the difference in this New York Times bestselling author’s blazingly chilling story of psychological terror.

It’s the hottest winter on record, but Raymond’s demanding, bedridden mother doesn’t mind. She likes it warm. Lately, however, control over the thermostat has become a nasty struggle. And each morning that she’s still alive is a suffocating new challenge for Raymond. How high can the mercury climb before he boils over?

Jesse Kellerman’s Controller is part of Warmer, a collection of seven visions of a conceivable tomorrow by today’s most thought-provoking authors. Alarming, inventive, intimate, and frightening, each story can be read, or listened to, in a single breathtaking sitting.

NB: Here is the complete list of the series by various authors:

1. The Way the World Ends (2018)

2. Boca Raton (2018)

3. Controller (2018)

4. There's No Place Like Home (2018)

5. Falls the Shadow (2018)

6. At the Bottom of New Lake (2018)

7. The Hillside (2018)

Author: Jesse Kellerman
First Release: 2018
Ebook: B07H7DPGY1
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories