I Am Not A Serial Killer - Dan Wells

Synopsis: 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.

Review: John Wayne Cleaver is a sociopath. His dad’s name is Sam - that makes him the “Son of Sam”, he shares a name with serial killer John Wayne Gacey, and his surname is a weapon. He also works at a mortuary and loves seeing the dead bodies that come through.

He can’t emote his feelings. He doesn’t feel any empathy. He has a monster inside of him telling him to kill, but to try not to kill he lives his life according to a set of rules he has made for himself.

So when a serial killer starts killing off people in his town, John becomes fascinated. Obsessed. He spends all his conscious moments trying to come up with a motive and a profile. And then… he sees who the killer is and makes it his effort to kill him before he strikes again.

It’s a really intense real, but highly entertaining. I particularly loved the parts between John and his psychologist Dr Nebler. John is very open and upfront about his thoughts and feelings and I felt like as a reader, I really learnt a lot about who John is.

We really get into John’s head during this book. See how he thinks and what his thought patterns are. It’s quite disturbing at times, especially how he thinks about Brooke in particular (his neighbour who has a crush on him - and visa versa), but it certainly was captivating and interesting none the less.

The twist that takes place about a third of the way though the book is absolutely massive. It changes the whole way you see the book and its characters, and certainly knocks John for a loop as well. Dan Wells was so clever when he wrote this book, the way that twist (really, there’s actually two twists kinda all made up into one big twist. lol) was played was absolutely brilliant!

Well written, and fascinating - I really enjoyed this book and hope to be able to read the sequel at some stage!

Rating: 4 out of 5

What do you think?

  • Tara T. says:

    This one kinda sounds like Dexter….I’m totally adding this to my “To buy” list!

    • Melissa says:

      It has been heavily compared to Dexter! I shy away from comparisons, but if I had to, I would say if you liked Dexter you would like this. The twist is pretty big.. and the book has a slight paranormal slant to it, but I love Dexter if it’s any indication. :)

  • Dana Burgess says:

    This sounds fantastic!! Adding it to my TBR right now.

  • Hey, you finished it! =D I think this sounds pretty good. I looked at it the other night on Goodreads when you mentioned it on Twitter, but now I think I will add it to my tbr list because of your review. Thanks! Great review. =)

  • I love Dexter and this sounds awesome so where can I find this book?

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