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I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER by Dan Wells Kirkus Star


by Dan Wells

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2247-0
Publisher: Tor

Fifteen-year-old John Wayne Cleaver knows he’s different, but not because he has but one friend (and doesn’t much like him) and not because he regularly helps out in his mother’s mortuary. He’s different because he recognizes the classic signs of an incipient serial killer in his own personality, and he’s created a rigid set of rules to follow to keep his darker nature in check. When a string of grisly murders begins in Clayton, John’s small hometown, he uses his specialized knowledge of serial killers to investigate. Will the darkness on the outside intensify the darkness within? Especially when he finds there is much more to this killer than anyone expects…even John. Wells’s debut, the first in a projected trilogy starring a character who seems the love child of Showtime’s Dexter and F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack, is an unabashedly gory gem. While certainly not for all audiences, this deft mix of several genres features a completely believable teenage sociopath (with a heart of gold), dark humor, a riveting mystery and enough description of embalming to make any teen squeamish even if they won’t admit it. Buy multiples where it won’t be banned. (Thriller/horror. YA)