Sunday, May 21, 2023

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He's spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He's obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn't want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he's written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don't demand or expect the empathy he's unable to offer. Perhaps that's what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there's something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can't control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells' debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

Paperback, 271 pages
Published March 30, 2010 
by Tor Books
3/5 stars

This is Dan Wells debut, I grabbed this book after doing a Masterclass with him at SIWC.

John Wayne Cleaver is only a teenager, but he is obsessed with serial killers, to the point where he thinks if he does not control himself he will be one also. He is smart, clever, and a thinker. He lives upstairs over a mortuary that is owned by his family. When a serial killer shows up in town he is more than obsessed with what is going on.

I Am Not a Serial Killer was well written, atmospheric and the author was spot on in his characterisation of John. The story itself was gripping, that is until a certain point where the big twist came. Those that are familiar with Dan Wells might already know what that twister is and for me, it took me completely by surprise.  I actually had to set the book down for a bit to wrap my head around whether I even wanted to continue reading. I did end up continuing the last half in audiobook format.  While I didn't like this twist I was genuinely curious as to how everything would play out.

In the end it was an ok read with a fitting conclusion.

This is the first book in a trilogy, John Cleaver Series. Will I continue? I’m not sure, time will tell.

This book was part of my 2023 reading off my shelf challenge and is book number 37.

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