I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells (#3 John Cleaver)

I Don't Want to Kill You (John Cleaver #3)

I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells

Published: 2011




I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells is the 3rd in the John Cleaver series.

In the first two books, we are introduced to John Cleaver, a teenage sociopath, who has been battling real demons instead of just the one in his head.  He has now killed two, one masquerading as his elderly neighbour, and one pretending to be an FBI Agent.  Although his mom is no longer in denial, she is not happy with the path that her son is heading down.  So John is trying to keep it a secret that he is now actually hunting the demons, and has been in contact with a third one, hoping to draw it to town so that he can kill it too.

When leaders in his town start dying, hands and tongue cut off, John is pretty sure his plan worked.  A serial killer from Georgia has started a killing spree in John’s hometown.  Who knew that the Handyman was a demon?  John just has to figure out who is next on the killers list.  Now if only he could concentrate on that, and wasn’t side-tracked by friends committing suicide, and having a new girlfriend, and trying to act normal.  Maybe he isn’t thinking clearly, because something isn’t right.  Has he bit off more than he can chew on this one?

This story had a rather surprise ending.  For a dark book, I guess it was a fitting end.  Just unexpected.

These books are not for the squeamish.  This one is just as “dark” as the first two, and although it seems strange to cheer for a sociopath, John is a very engaging character, and funny.  Dan Wells has been thinking “outside the box” when he created this series, which has made it really entertaining — for the young and old(ish).

Note that this was to be the final book in a trilogy, but that turned out not to be true….I’m happy.

Re-Read: November 2016


Favorite Quotes from I Don’t Want to Kill You:

“You don’t have to march into hell every single time they open the gate.”

“It may surprise you to know this, but there are children–some of them teenage boys, just like you–who actually carry on open, honest conversations with their mothers.”
“I find it very hard to believe that there are other teenage boys just like me.” I finished my cereal and stood up. “I also find it a little terrifying.”


About the Author:   Dan Wells writes in a variety of genres, from dark humor to science fiction to supernatural thriller.  In addition to this John Wayne Cleaver series, he has also penned The Partials series, started the Mirador series, and written stand-alone novels.  At this point he lives in Utah with his family (including 5 kids).



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