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I Am Not a Serial Killer: John Cleaver, Book 1 | [Dan Wells]

I Am Not a Serial Killer: John Cleaver, Book 1

John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic "normal" behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them.
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Publisher's Summary

John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic "normal" behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them.

As he struggles to understand the demon and find a way to kill it, his own mind begins to unravel until he fears he may never regain control. Faced with the reality that he is, perhaps, more monstrous than the monster he is fighting, John must make a final stand against the horrors of both the demon and himself.

©2009 Dan Wells (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (391 )
5 star
 (86)
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3.9 (278 )
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Story
3.3 (277 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    M. Mott 03-31-10
    M. Mott 03-31-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Overall
    "Great, if visceral book, terrible narrator."

    This book is just as disturbing as you think it is. It's also a good story, and the beginning of what could be a good series.

    ... If you can stomach having it read to you by someone who sounds like Robert Stack of "Unsolved Mysteries." The narrator would be perfect for a hard-boiled detective book, or some kind of adventure/war story, but his choppy, monotone narration grates the whole way through this book, along with his strange EMPHASIS of CERTAIN WORDS for no apparent REASON. This book needed a quiet, expressive voice to read it, somebody who could have pulled off a more "believable" serial killer.

    Still, the book was worth it for the story, if nothing else.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janet United States 04-22-10
    janet United States 04-22-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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    93
    12
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    "Hate the narrator"

    I had a hard time getting into the book b/c the reader is really annoying. I was hoping for a book like the Dexter series but this wasn't it.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Lundquist Springfield, OR United States 04-09-10
    Julie Lundquist Springfield, OR United States 04-09-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    Overall
    "Wish I'd Read the Reviews"

    Had I read the reviews, I would never have selected this book. The narration was very distracting and not believable. Some readers are able to characterize genders, age, and ethnicity so adeptly...not this one though. The story wasn't my favorite either, but I'm not a big fan of demons. Next time, I'll look more carefully before pushing the "buy now" button.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Martin Valparaiso, Indiana 04-01-10
    Rebecca Martin Valparaiso, Indiana 04-01-10 Member Since 2007

    Book Guru

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    REVIEWS
    98
    5
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    Overall
    "good story - painful narration"

    This story was great, however the narration was absolutely painful. The main character is supposed to be a young teenager, freshman in high school young, and the narrator sounds about fifty. Another reviewer likened him to Robert Stack, and I whole heartedly concur with that comparasion. I really wish I had merely read the book and not listened to the audio version. But the story is still great.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Soper Gorden 07-23-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    8
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Great book, not great narration"

    I really enjoyed the story, and think the plot was well written and the characters excellent. What keeps this from getting five stars from me is the narration by John Allen Nelson. While he has a decent voice for narration, he did not AT ALL fit with this story. The character is supposed to be a sociopath, devoid of emotion and empathy, and yet Nelson's voice for him sounded angry. He gave his words too much emphasis, and didn't even soften the phrases or words that should be softened. The way he stressed some things changed the meaning of sentences, and overall his tone was just not at all right for this storyline. I hope that Wells writes a sequel to this book, because it was really enjoyable - but I hope he finds a new narrator for the audiobook.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Davis, CA, United States 02-08-12
    John Davis, CA, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "He is a serial killer"

    The dichotomy of the viewpoint character and the villain was astounding. The author successfully made the main character much more creepy than the villain. I can't say that I've ever read anything quite like this. I would recommend this to a friend if that friend was able to endure a creepy viewpoint character. This was a very good book. The only problem which I had was that the narrator was very much a monotone.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve pritchett Lancaster, CA 93534 04-23-10
    steve pritchett Lancaster, CA 93534 04-23-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    58
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Great Idea, bad Voice Actor"

    I have found several great books by first time authors, but this is an okay book, maybe my thoughts were colored by such a BAD voice actor. It is hard to listen to and follow the story. I have tried several times to finish this book but alas I can't

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Plano, TX, USA 04-08-10
    Kim Plano, TX, USA 04-08-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    1
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    Overall
    "Lots of promise"

    Another vote for a bad choice of narration, the 'Robert Stack' reviewer was right on target. This is supposed to be a 15 year old boy and because of the disconnect between the narration and the story I had a hard time keeping that in mind.

    Overall, kind of a silly story that had a good Dexter-like premise.

    I'll purchase the next one if there is another, but that will be the last chance for me.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Knoxville, TN, United States 04-03-10
    Dana Knoxville, TN, United States 04-03-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    33
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    5
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    "Very entertaining"

    This book reminded me of the Darkly Dreaming Dexter books which I really enjoyed and this book was just as good. I didn't stop listening until it was done or I had to get some get some sleep. I really like to see Mr. Wells write another story about John and his interesting take on life.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 05-27-12
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 05-27-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1458
    ratings
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    151
    101
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    669
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book 1, of 3"

    I liked it. The main character comes off more like he's on the aspergers spectrum than a sociopath but it still works. You'll learn way more about the embalming process than you planed. All 3 books are interesting so don't be afraid to keep going if you like this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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