I Don't Want To Kill You by Dan Wells
John Wayne Cleaver has called a demon–literally called it on the phone–and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. As he wades through the town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse.
In I Am Not a Serial Killer we watched a budding sociopath break every rule he had to save his town from evil. In Mr. Monster we held our breath as he fought madly with himself, struggling to stay in control. Now John Wayne Cleaver has mastered his twisted talents and embraced his role as a killer of killers.I Don’t Want to Kill You brings his story to a thundering climax of suspicion, mayhem, and death.
It’s time to punish the guilty.
And in a town full of secrets, everyone is guilty of something.
I Don't Want To Kill You is the third and final book in the John Cleaver series. After the awesome debut of I Am Not A Serial Killer and the sheer epicness that was Mr. Monster, this book had some mighty big boots to fill. In the end this book may have fallen just short of the level set by Mr. Monster, but it is still a brilliant book and a fitting a fitting end to the series.
I Don't Want To Kill You starts a few months after the end of Mr. Monster. John is still feeling the affects from his battle with another demon, the loss of control to his inner demon, and the breakdown of his first ever relationship. But there is hope - he has thrown down the challenge to Nobody, leader of the demons, and he gets his answer when another serial killer starts to terrorise Clayton. The first demon was unprepared for John, the second demon underestimated John, but this third demon is pissed and she is desperate to make an example of John at the expense of his friends and family.
As he has done in the previous books, Wells takes a well constructed plot and applies liberal amounts of creepiness and suspense. This time around you get the distinct feeling that John is the one being hunted, the people being killed around him are getting closer and closer and it is very much a race against time to solve the mystery, unmask the killer, and save his own skin. The twists are big, the revelations are bigger, and bad things happen to good people. My wife cried but I am far more heartless than her.
This is all great material, but I think I was slightly let down by the lack of actual mystery elements, the lack of an the elaborate setup and all the red herrings that were so well done in the previous two books. It's hard to go into much detail without spoiling the book, so while I found the concept and the physical form of the demon Nobody to be very cool, I felt slightly disappointed that the 'big reveal' of Nobody wasn't all that big and was also a bit predictable. It may seem like a small thing, but the 'big reveal' was what made the first two books so good. It might be because I was expecting something similar to the first two books and was disappointed when that expectation wasn't met.
As in the previous books, Wells demonstrates that his biggest strength is characterisation, and this is evidenced by the way we get to know so much about the support cast despite being limited to John's point of view. John is a very observant and obsessive character and he provides a very detailed / creepy analysis of every character he interacts with, especially when wondering how he would feel when killing them. We get to see a John that is much more in control in this book, he is embracing his obsessive nature, and he is able to vent everything to Marci who is fascinated by the way he thinks. I loved Marci in this book, a lot more than I thought I would, and she played the 'most desirable teenager in the cosmos' role brilliantly.
The style, the pacing, the writing as before is absolutely brilliant. Wells is a gifted wordsmith, and at times this book is beautifully poetic in its prose. It seems weird, but it was an absolute pleasure to read about such dark and disturbing themes. I can't say anything more about his writing, except that I expect Wells could take any concept whatsoever and write it in a way that would be appealing.
I Don't Want To Kill You is a great conclusion to a brilliant debut series. The final demon was the most monstrous of all, the characters reached the end of their arcs, and it felt like series reached a natural conclusion despite the very tantalising thread Wells left for us in the final scene. I am very excited to see what the future holds for Dan Wells, and I hope that he returns to the world of John Cleaver in the not to distant future.
This I Don't Want To Kill You book review was written by Ryan Lawler
All reviews for: John Cleaver series
I Am Not A Serial Killer
John Cleaver series: Book 1
I Am Not A Serial Killer is the story of John Cleaver, a 15-year-old sociopath who works in a mortuary, dreams about death, and thinks he might be turning into a serial kil...
John Cleaver series: Book 2
My name is John Cleaver. I live in Clayton County, in a mortuary on the edge of town. I have a mother and a sister and an aunt. I’m sixteen years old. I like reading,...
I Don't Want To Kill You
John Cleaver series: Book 3
John Wayne Cleaver has called a demon–literally called it on the phone–and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two monsters already, barely escaping with...
Have you read I Don't Want To Kill You?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
I Don't Want To Kill You reader reviews
9.3/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the...
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be ...
Some doors are better left closed... In Barrington House, an upmarket block in London, there is an empty apartment. No one goes in, no one comes out. And it’s been th...
Cinema of Shadows
Welcome to the Woodfield Movie Palace. The night the Titanic sank, it opened for business... and its builder died in his chair. In the 1950s, there was a fire; a balcony fu...
The Pilo Family Circus
You have two days to pass your audition. You better pass it, feller. You’re joining the circus. Ain’t that the best news you ever got? Delivered by a trio of ps...
Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions...
After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current-high-priced ...
The Temple of the Last Days. The brutal cult with a history of murder, sex and occult dealings destroyed itself during one night of ritualistic violence decades ago. Or so ...
Inside Out is the story of Denton, a down-and-out no-hoper who lives with his mother and hits rock bottom one day during a road-rage incident. What should be the lowest mom...
Devourer of Souls
Welcome to Clifton Heights, an average Adirondack town. It's nice enough, really. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone... Sophan. An anci...
Detective Gabi Versado has hunted down many monsters during her eight years in Homicide. She’s seen stupidity, corruption and just plain badness. But she’s neve...
Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth
Respected horror anthologist Stephen Jones edits this collection of 17 stories inspired by the 20th century’s master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shad...
Black Wings of Cthulhu 4
Through his collaborations with today's most talented and acclaimed practitioners of Lovecraftian fiction, editor S. T. Joshi has made the Black Wings of Cthulhu series...
Under the Dome
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force fi...
House of Small Shadows
Catherine’s last job ended badly. Corporate bullying at a top television production company saw her fired and forced to leave London, but she was determined to get he...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spe...
Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the ...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess renders them indistinguishable from gods?The answer lies across the...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...
The Dog Stars
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...