I Am Not A Serial Killer – book review

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells – Is a short novel (271 pages) first published in 1977, although it has be re-printed and you can still find it in the book store or through Amazon.

It is the story of a high school boy who is obsessed with serial killers. Other kids talk about sports figures, rock or movie stars, but his interest is serial killers. The hero of the story (John) can spout off statistics about serial killers the way other kids can tell you about batting averages for major league baseball players. Number of kills, cities where the murders took place, exactly how the bodies were dismembered; John knows them all.

His obsession, of course, is a great cause of concern to his mother and his high school teachers. It doesn’t help that John’s family owns the town’s only funeral parlor, and that he works there after school helping prepare the bodies.

Then the unthinkable happens. An actual serial killer begins striking the small town. And no, just so you don’t get the wrong idea, John is not a junior version of Dexter.

About half way through the book the story turns from a  mystery about a high school boy into a sci-fi/horror story. While it is exciting, I do sort of wish it stayed with the pure mystery theme throughout.

I highly recommend this book. It is fast-paced and a quick read. If you read it while riding public transportation like I did, be prepared for some very strange surreptitious glances from your fellow passengers. For some reason they seem to feel uneasy seeing a stranger on a subway with his face buried in something titled, “I Am Not a Serial Killer.”

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