I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells (#1 John Cleaver)

I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Published: 2009



I am not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells is the 1st in the John Cleaver Series.

John Wayne Cleaver was named after the actor.  He feels he should have been named after the serial killer.  He studies serial killers, and strives to understand them.  He is a little obsessed.  At 15, he has been diagnosed as a sociopath, and feels this diagnosis is warranted — at the very least.  He lives above the mortuary where his mother and aunt prepare bodies for burial.  He feels very comfortable helping out, perhaps a little too comfortable for a 15 year-old, or for anyone.  He does not fit in with his classmates.  He does not fit in with his family.  He does not have empathy for anyone or anything, and makes a conscious effort to use the pro-nouns he and she, and not to refer to others as “it”.  Sure that he has a monster inside him, John lives within a set of rules he created for himself which will hopefully prevent him from becoming homicidal.  If he gets himself into a situation where he feels the urge to hurt someone, he gives them a compliment.  This usually works, although sometimes more than one compliment is required.

When it appears that a serial killer is threatening his home town, he is of course, fascinated, and decides to take matters into his own hands.  John realizes he may have to release the “monster within”  in order to get the job done. His fear…what if he can’t reign himself back in.

This is a highly entertaining series, and this first book is one of my favorites. Some of the dialogues, especially the ones John has with himself,  will make you laugh.  On the other hand, this is not a comedy, and is not meant for the squeamish.


Favorite Quotes From I Am Not A Serial Killer:

“I’m a good person,” I said, “because I know what good people are supposed to act like, and I copy them.”

“Margaret’s voice was a little lighter, though, a little more . . . energetic. I figured it was because she’d never been married.”

“Three traits shared by ninety-five percent of serial killers,” said Dr. Neblin. “Bed-wetting, pyromania, and animal cruelty. You do, I admit, have all three.”

Re-Read: September 2016


About the Author:   In addition to the John Cleaver Series, he is also the author of the Partial Series and other stand-alone books.  He is an avid reader, and according to his website, he has 5 kids. 

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