Book/Series Review: “I Am Not A Serial Killer” by Dan Wells

I -devoured- this series. I read all six books in twelve days. That’s how good it was.

So, after I did that very first book review of Guns of Perdition a few weeks back, I decided that since I like to read so much, maybe I’d share the occasional review here. Kind of break up the political posts and writing updates and randomness with something else.

But don’t worry, I’m only going to do the occasional review on ‘winners’. If a book stinks, either I won’t finish it, or I won’t waste time writing a blog post about it. My time is precious. I got kids and dogs and a wife to play with, books to write, and fun to be had and frankly – I don’t like bad writing. I’ll drop a book if it sucks.

But this series, wow. Nice and twisted. I’d heard of the first one when it first came out, years ago. But forgot all about it, even though I meant to check it out. Luckily for me, by the time I came across it again, the entire series had been written and finished.

The basic premise is this sociopathic kid, named John Wayne Cleaver, that lives above his mom’s mortuary, is obsessed with serial killers, and realizes how much he has in common with them. He then concludes that he doesn’t WANT to be one, thus begins the inner angst as he quickly puts rules into place to prevent himself from becoming a murderer. Such as, complementing people when he thinks about hurting them, avoiding all animals so he doesn’t give into the urge to see their insides, only looking at the girl he likes twice and speaking to her once per day. Lighting a small fire whenever he can’t take it anymore. Stuff like that.

Then he discovers that there is actually a serial killer in his town.

Deciding that only he is able to do anything about it and armed with his instinctive ability to profile other killers, John Wayne Cleaver does what any normal 13 year old would do… He breaks all the rules he had put into place to control his ‘urges’ and goes after the serial killer.

Who turns out to be a shape shifting demon.

Yup.

And THAT’s where Dan Well’s awesome book takes an unexpected turn that resulted in him getting a 4/5 star rating on Amazon with six hundred plus reviews. It’s very unexpected, because the book starts off as a Young Dexter, then it shoots off into the fiction horror genre.

Luckily, I knew that going in. So it didn’t bother me one bit. I could see how it’d bug others though, especially when the back of the book makes zero mention of any sort of supernatural involvement. And that’s a pretty big twist to keep secret and spring on a reader. It’s the sort of twist that turns people off to the book when there is a sudden genre change in the middle.

But, armed with that knowledge, I devoured the book, then the next, and the next, and so on. The series just got more interesting and the mythos of the demons grew pleasantly as more are discovered in town and elsewhere and John Wayne Cleaver discovers his purpose and hunts them down.

Dan Wells hit a home run with these books. I highly recommend them.