I Am Not a Serial Killer



Author: Dan Wells

Title: I Am Not a Serial Killer

Genre: Horror and Fantasy

Publication Date: 2010

Pages: 271

Geographical Setting: Midwest

Time Period: Current

Series: Yes, TBD

Plot Summary:

Utterly obsessed with serial killers and believing he is destined to become one, 15 year old John Wayne Cleaver lives by a set of very strict rules.  After all, he is a sociopath who has 3 indicators 95% of all serial killers possess.  There is one thing that separates him though; he does not want to hurt anyone, and despite being fascinated with the murderers and their victims, he finds the acts reprehensible.  John suddenly has to confront the rules he’s set up to keep himself and others safe when a serial killer comes to his small town.  He must think like a killer in order to catch the culprit and will have to control his demons that he has caged for so long.  This book is a great entry point for fantasy readers looking to ease their way into the horror genre.

Subject Headings: Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Serial Killers, Demons, Supernatural

Appeal Terms: Dark, Haunting, Introspective, Psychological, Paranoid, Distant, Engaging, Measured, Open-Ended, Accessible, Direct, Small-Town

Three major appeals: dark, haunting, introspective


Darkly Dreaming Dexter: A Novel by Jeffry P. Lindsay

Readers interested in the ethical dilemma of killing “bad” people will cling to this series.  Also, the idea of caging a monster and drawing the line between right and wrong will gain appeal.

Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane

Ambiguity blurs the conclusion and readers are kept on edge, guessing what the outcome will be and who or which self will prevail in the end.

Gateways: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson

Combining murders and the supernatural paced like a thriller, readers will draw many comparisons between the two.


Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi

A chilling look at a prolific killer will entice readers who, like John, were interested in the murderers and the victims.

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism by  David M. Kiely

Drawing upon the appeal of the supernatural and the psychology of the characters in this book, this may pair nicely with I Am Not a Serial Killer.

Who Killed Precious: How FBI Agents Combine High Technology and Psychology to Identify Violent Criminals by Paul H. Jeffers

Motives and predictors will serve as a point of access for readers looking to explore more deeply the thoughts of a violent criminal.

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