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Jonathan Kellerman's characters are dark, but he's not

Jonathan Kellerman is the author of more than 30 bestselling novels. His popular psychologist Alex Delaware returns in "Mystery," out this week, in which a corpse turns out to be someone he saw at a bar the night before she died. Did her sugar daddy do it?

In Tuesday's L.A. Times, a cheerful Kellerman tells Scott Timberg about the people found in his books:

"I like to create twisted characters," he says with a laugh. "It's just what I do: I'm a psychologist. Ever since I've been a kid I've had a fascination with the darker side of things."

The author, 61, is not a dark guy. Wearing faded jeans and a black mock-turtleneck, he's sitting in a room that includes shelves of books, a painting canvas, a pool table and a view of his ample yard and swimming pool. The life he's made for himself from Southern California's sun-kissed brand of malevolence includes more than 40 million books in print in the U.S. alone and three other published novelists in the family. All that, as well as the vintage guitars he's collected over the years, clearly makes him happy.

Kellerman's very good at writing bestsellers, but his publisher isn't quite so hot at book trailers. See his -- almost a textbook case of how book trailers can go wrong -- after the jump

Seems like springing for the guy who does the creepy movie trailer voiceover was probably not such a good idea.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Jonathan Kellerman at his home, March 18. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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Kellerman is great. You're right about that voice-over though. It sounds like Jim Carey playing a joke.

What is up with trailers of books anyway? It just seems strange. It's a book, not a movie. I don't think I have ever seen one that made me want to read the book. And certainly this one makes me think I can skip this one. The trailer gives it all the appeal of a tabloid paper at the supermarket. And I've read a number of his, his wife's, and his son's books.


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