Rating: Buy, Paperback, New
Dan Wells' I Am Not A Serial Killer was such an enjoyable read that I ended up buying it and the two sequels Mr Monster and I Don't Want To Kill You as dead-tree readers since my e-reader has died. If you know of the Son of Sam murders then you'll be aware that the origin of the title is the how David Berkowitz signed his letters to the press. Mr. Monster is how the protagonist John Wayne Cleaver refers to the dark side of his personality. In the first book John lets out his dark side to pursue a serial killer and in this second book John must learn to either put the genie back in the bottle or let Mr Monster loose to become the serial killer that he's destined to be. There's more though, another serial killer is now stalking the streets of Clayton and after having stopped the first by freeing Mr Monster how can John chain his demons and stop this new killer.
Again Dan Wells manages to create a fairly plausible teenage sociopath without resorting to any stereotypical teen angst. The most interesting part of the whole book is that despite sociopaths having no empathy you end up empathizing with the narrator (John Cleaver), it's kind of a neat trick. I've also finished the second book and Wells does a better job of setting up for the third than in the first. The second book needs a bit of the McGuffin treatment whereas the hook for the third book is better planned and executed. I want a fourth book but Mr Wells has blogged that this is the end of the trilogy. Hopefully he'll write a few more novels set in the same universe.
Overall The book is well written and entertaining. Mrs. Bugbear complains that it talks entirely too much about embalming but she's still reading.