“Mr. Monster” by Dan Wells (Tor, 2010)

Mr. Monsterstarstarstar

John Wayne Cleaver has a secret, kind of like Dexter: he’s a sociopath with twisted, obsessive thoughts about how he can kill people.  He’s studied serial killers for most of his life and he’s only sixteen.  He even has dreams of performing an autopsy on the girl he likes.  He’s also the town hero.  He recently saved his neighbor’s life and stopped a serial killer from terrorizing Clayton County.  Everyone knows what a brave boy he is.  Only he knows the true story about the serial killer he stopped, who wasn’t human.

John feels like he may just be getting a handle on things, with his specific rules that keep his obsessions and urges in check.  He ignores one of his rules to ask out the girl of his dreams and she says yes.  Everything is going just great until they find the body in the water.  Then more are found and it looks like there might be another serial killer on the loose.  John’s mind starts working and calculating as he tries to work out how there could be another killer, and if it’s like the last one.  Meeting with the FBI agent in charge of the case, he goes over his experiences with the previous serial killer and then tries to help out with the new bodies.  But something’s not quite right about this guy from the FBI.

Wells continues with his interesting and unusual character, creating a new mystery to keep the reader hooked, and then taking the story to whole new levels with an unexpected twist.  Mr. Monster is a good strong sequel to I am Not a Serial Killer, leaving fans wanting more from John Wayne Cleaver.

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Originally written on October 29, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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