Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book Review I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Holy smokes this book was WOW.

I hadn't really heard a lot of this book other than it was really good. So I was listening to the podcasts Writing Excuses (you should totally go listen to them if you are interested in writing at all, great stuff) and Dan Wells is one of the authors involved on that podcast. I had to make a run to the library and I decided to see if this book was available. Miracle of miracles, it was (Though I had to get on the waiting list for the next 2 books)

I started reading it right there in the library while my kids browsed their section and played with the toys in the children's area. It started out so gripping, I didn't want to pack up my kids to go home. I would have stayed right there in the library reading it if my kids hadn't started to get a little bit noisy.

Here's a brief summary of it. John Wayne Cleaver lives in a small town in a small apartment above the towns mortuary. His mother and her twin sister are morticians and John has an obsession with dead bodies. He's also what you'd call a sociopath. He doesn't connect with living people at all, and is very aware of his faults and strangeness. He has another obsession with Serial killers, knowing the details of many cases throughout history. He worries he might become one so he sets up rigid rules for himself to avoid it. He studies people in order to try to blend in, but the way Dan Wells creates this kid and gets him involved in the strange murders that happen in his town make you at once disturbed and delighted in his evolution.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but I have to say that I was relieved when something about the bad guy made him less evil in a way and I even found myself caring for him. It's a gripping read and I'm not one to like horror novels. I stay away from things I worry will give me nightmares, but this book worked for me.

Pick it up today.

Dan Wells website HERE

Amazon HERE

Barnes and Noble HERE

or find it at your local bookstore


  1. I LOVED this book, and the two that follow it. It's a fantastic twist on murder mystery genre and I found it creative and entertaining.

    I reviewed it about a month ago on This is what I said: "I liked this book even better the second time. Creepy, thrilling, exciting, enthralling and addicting. I can't wait to start the second book tomorrow!! Wells is a great author. I sympathized with John, even though he has tendencies toward violent thoughts and thinks he could, potentially, become a killer. His honest, brutal self-analysis is fascinating and heartbreaking. I especially loved his character's development at the end of the story.

    While I don't have murderous tendencies, the heartfelt winding of John's story helped me to really understand him and to feel a connection to him that I didn't expect. His relationships with his mother, aunt, sister and lone friend are fascinating, and the way he solves the whodonit in town and, ultimately, triumphs over his inner demons and the one killing townsfolk is a unique story, mixing a little sci-fi or fantasy (or whatever genre has such things as demons) with mystery and thriller-style storytelling. I loved that the author told us very early on who the killer was, and the remaining story delved into psychology and the adventure of John setting out to stop him. Good stuff.

    I increased my rating, and that's saying something. This is a fantastic book, maybe not for the faint-hearted, but the language is clean and there is no "adult" material. It is gruesome and downright creepy, though."

  2. I've heard so many good things! I really want to read it!