Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells
I read this book on vacation. In case giving it 9 stars wasn't enough of a hint that I liked it, I'll give you another one. I was so engrossed that I read it by the light of my iPod while we were driving from Las Vegas to St. George. And then I had talked it up so much that my mom started reading it on the drive from St. George to Salt Lake City as we were heading home.
The main character of this novel is John Wayne Cleaver, a teenager fighting the demon he fears lurks inside of him. Why does he think he is a demon? Well, he is obsessed with death, and more specifically, death by serial killer. His family runs a mortuary, so he knows the ins and outs of death. He shares a name with a serial killer, his last name is the name of a weapon, and his father's name is Sam, making him the son of Sam. More disturbing to him is that he has all of the three characteristics of serial killers- pyromania, animal cruelty and bed wetting.
You would think a narrator like this would be one the reader would struggle to be sympathetic with, right? Thanks to the author's magic touch, you feel sorry for the kid. He's honestly trying to fight these urges. He has a hard time relating to anyone, especially since he knows that might only lead to trouble. He sets very strict rules for himself... until a serial killer shows up in his town. He begins to try to solve the case by studying the killer's methods and possible motives. In trying to save the town from this demon, will he unleash his own inner demon? You'll have to read it to find out.
Two things I want to note:
-While this book has a teenage protagonist, I would not classify it as YF. Many people on Goodreads have it as YF, but I think it's definitely adult fiction.
-This book is the first of a trilogy, but could easily be read as a stand-alone. The second one is out and high on my to-read list, and the third one comes out in April.