A psychologist and bestselling novelist, he is particularly known for his suspense series featuring child psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis. His most famous works include When the Bough Breaks and Blood Test, as well as a non-fiction book entitled Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children.
He received his PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California. He published his award-winning first novel, When The Bough Breaks, in 1985.
He survived a bout of thyroid cancer.
He was born in New York City to an aerospace engineer father and a dancer mother. With his wife and fellow writer, Faye Kellerman, he had four children.
His novel, When the Bough Breaks, was made into a television movie starring Ted Danson.