Monday, August 6, 2012
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells is pretty fantastical! Just so you know why I think this, I will have to tell you about my unhealthy need to look up serial killers on Crimelibrary.com. As a teenager I found this gruesome story about a little girl from England who killed a 3 year old, from that moment on I was addicted to finding out what caused seemingly normal people and children to commit such awful acts. Point one for John Cleaver (our MC), because that's how he knows so much about serial killers.
John Wayne Cleaver has been addicted to learning about serial killers since he was 8 and realized that killing animals was a trait that serial killers shared. He also became interested because of his name (John Wayne is an actor his father like, unfortunately John Wayne Gacy happens to be an infamous serial killer). John is not like normal kids... or people. He not only reads about serial killers but a lot of his class papers and projects are on serial killers, all this leads to him having a therapist who is the closest to anyone in knowing how John works and what is inside of his head. John is too young for label sociopath, but his lack of empathy make it difficult for him to create and foster bonds with other people, including family.
He knows what the right things are and how to act just from watching people, which he does a lot and to which he has strict rules about, because nothing shouts serial killer like stalking. The only problem is that the monster inside of him wants out, especially with a serial killer on the loose in his town. I find John to be a not as fun character as Jasper Dent (I Hunt Killers), who isn't prone to becoming a serial killer based on being a sociopath, but because his father taught him how to be a serial killer...for fun... like fishing. John is scary, Jasper can become someone scary but he truly doesn't want to. With John, he isn't sure he doesn't want to just let his monster out. He tries, don't get me wrong, but still pretty s-c-a-r-y.
John is Dexter. You know, if Dexter didn't have a father who was a police chief, that taught him everything to successfully kill serial killers. John has to make do with his dark passenger/monster inside of him. Of course Dexter is in his 30s and John is barely 15. I want to see the evolution of John because it is fascinating, wrong, but fascinating.
The only reason I see giving this book a 3.5 instead of a full 4 or 4.5/5 is that there is a twist to this story, which I am not sure it needed. I would have liked it more if the serial killer was a serial killer like the ones we are used to, not something that cannot be.... PROFILED...