The John Cleaver Series - Book #2
by Dan Wells
I wasn't sure initially whether I would pick up the second book in the John Cleaver series after reading I Am Not A Serial Killer, but after marinating on it for almost twenty-four hours, I realized I couldn't let the character go. The story was still unfinished.
So I grabbed Mr. Monster, and in my opinion, it's an improvement on the first book.
In the first book, John's sociopathy is very self-contained and controllable. The internal conflict is real, but it never truly threatens to overwhelm him. After the end of I Am Not a Serial Killer, the monster within has been unleashed and will not be content to merely reside within John. He wants out.
And that is a far more compelling internal conflict.
The antagonist was a bit obvious from the start, and some of the "twists" (not really) are easily seen in advance, but many others are startling in their simplicity. The creativity of the antagonist's lair and his murder methods were unique, to say the least.
I'm still fascinated by -- and somewhat afraid of! -- Dan Wells ability to get into the mind of a sociopath. I partly wonder if he is one himself! But that's the mark of a great writer, right?
If you enjoyed I Am Not a Serial Killer, then you'll enjoy this one even more. Pick it up.