Does the type of book you prefer impact what covers you give a second glance?
Looking past the very large, bold letters revealing author and title and focusing solely on the cover image, we see a lone figure on the steps of a columned building. The architecture of this scene calls to mind the type of grand governmental buildings in Washington, D.C., or perhaps a state capitol building or courthouse. It suggests a legal thriller, but also fits the mold of spy adventure involving echelons of power.
Best-selling author Jonathan Kellerman is well-known for his Dr. Alex Delaware series. Delaware is a psychologist and police consultant in Los Angeles, and the novels in which he stars involve psychological suspense, thrillers that often portray “the darkest impulses of human nature.”
At first glance, the cover seems an odd fit. However, Kellerman’s past experiences as practicing psychologist who served as a consultant and expert witness within the legal system have impacted his novels before. And here in Killer, the story embroils Delaware “in a bizarre child custody dispute” between two sisters that “erupts into cold, calculating murder.”
The focus of the case will shift from the legal aspects when “the little girl at the center of the vicious dispute disappears,” and Delaware works with police “to save an innocent life.”
Fans of David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Scott Turow, for example, might give this cover a second look. The story within might not be what they expect or hope for. Yet if they are willing to give it a try–and why not?–then perhaps this cover succeeds as it was intended?
Killer, published in 2014, is the twenty-ninth book in the Alex Delaware series that began with the 1986 Edgar and Anthony award-winning When the Bough Breaks.