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What to Read #5

November 12, 2013

Today my recommendation is going to take a slightly darker turn.  Well, not that Pride of Baghdad wasn’t a little bit dark, but this is darker even than that.  serial killerMy recommendation this week is I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells.  Despite the books he writes, Dan is a very nice guy and close personal person-I-met-at-a-convention-one-time.  Also, I got him carrot cake when he came to do a signing at my bookstore, so I think we’re pretty close.  And I’ve promised to make him a bacon pecan pie if he ever makes it back down this way.  (I buy love with baked goods, what can I say.  Would you like a pie?  Lemon squares?  I can make you cookies!  Please love me.)
monsterBut enough about me, let’s talk about John Wayne Cleaver.  He’s just your average, young, high school student who happens to fit the psychological profile of a sociopath.  He has rules that he lives by so that he won’t turn into a serial killer.
Don’t mess with animals.
No watching people for too long.
If he feels like hurting someone he has to pay them a compliment.
It’s already hard enough to be a teenager, but imagine being a teenager with these kinds of rules, self-imposed, for the good of everyone around you.  Now, imagine that an active serial killer starts operating in your town.  That’s exactly what happens to John.  He’s the only one that can really get inside the killer’s head, but to do that, he has to tap into the dark parts of himself that he’s tried to suppress for so long.
Now, let’s up the ante a little further.  (This could be considered a spoiler!)
What if the killer wasn’t entirely human?

I Am Not a Serial Killer is the first of three books in the John Wayne Cleaver series.  Each book is special and wonderful and creepy and horrible and I love them.  There is part of a chapter in Book 2 that I can’t read.  But it’s consistent with the story, so I’m also not mad about it.  I adore these books, which may make me seem a little… off.  But I’m not!  I promise.  Want a cookie?
Some people may also say that this is very Dexter-like.  Yeah, I guess… Except at the same time – no, not really at all.  Dexter is an active serial killer who has picked a type of victim that his artificial conscience has deemed it acceptable to kill.  John is a young man trying desperately not to kill anyone.  He doesn’t want to give into his darkness while Dexter revels in it.  So, while there is a superficial resemblance I can overwhelmingly recommend I Am Not a Serial Killer whereas I didn’t love Dexter.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 13, 2013 2:06 pm

    Reblogged this on that90skid and commented:
    this sounds like something I’d love reading

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