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Review: Mr. Monster

In this continuation, John Wayne Cleaver is still fighting the urge not to hurt people, not to kill. It’s been nearly six months since the events of I Am Not A Serial Killer, and his town of Clayton County appears to be relaxing its fear, hoping the horrible events of last winter are finished. Of course, the truth of the matter is the Clayton Killer was something not quite human, and John had killed it.

But the teen, tasting the power of death, now believes the “only monster left is me- the dark side of me I call Mr. Monster.” While John, who narrates again, does not hear voices in his head, or suffer multiple personalities, he knows there is something inside him, a dark force existing with in his soul.

And to keep the evil at bay, he continues to keep to his rules, to make sure he doesn’t let Mr. Monster out. But keeping things to himself is affecting his relationship to his mom, his aunt and sister. And his growing (and sometimes, disturbing) infatuation with neighbor girl Brooke.

But then terrible things begin to happen again: dead bodies are starting to pop up around town. The police have little clue, and sense, perhaps, that the Clayton Killer has returned. But since John knows that man is dead, he begins to suspect that someone associated with the first killer has taken up the cause. While the police are baffled, John begins to see a pattern in the slayings and becomes convinced that this new murderer is sending out a clear message, one that only he can understand.

This second book in what is starting out to be a very interesting series is much better than the first, and Wells packs a lot of info into such a relatively short book (287pages), so that you can’t help but keep turning the pages. And like the first one, Mr. Monster has some quite disturbing and graphic descriptions, once again making me wonder why this book would be classified as Young Adult.

As noted in my review of the first book, the crossing of Dexter book series and Stephen King is a clever, lively mixture of genres with the added bonus of a completely enduring sociopath, one with a heart of gold of course. This added element help keep these books from falling into some sort of parody of those two genres.

John Wayne Cleaver returns on March 29, 2011 with I Don’t Want To Kill You.

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