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I Don't Want to Kill You

(John Cleaver #3)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  10,316 ratings  ·  1,125 reviews
John Cleaver has called a demon—literally called it, on the phone, and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two of the monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. But as he wades through his town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of c ...more
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  10,316 ratings  ·  1,125 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A corpse is actually the perfect friend. The perfect pet. I feel more comfortable with them than I do with real people.

Classic John Wayne Cleaver.

John is your typical teenager, with the added bonus of psychopathic tendencies, an extremely rigid moral code and a wonderful family support system. He knows that he wants to become a serial killer but he absolutely refuses to give in and his mom is right there to back him up. I adore their mother-son dynamic:
"No, Mom," I said. "No pictures."

Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, youngadult
I got so into this book that I burned off a chunk of my hair trying to read and use the blowdryer at the same time. I might take the chunk and mail it to Dan . . .

Because Dan is amazing. His brain just doesn't work like mine does. It's not that the whole serial killer thing worries me . . . if you ask around, you will probably find quite a few of your friends know random facts about serial killers, or Jack the Ripper, or true crimes. Who cares about that? What amazes me about Dan Wells is the i
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I just finished the John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by Dan Wells and here is my ratings for each novel:

I An Not a Serial Killer: Four stars
Mr. Monster: Four and a half stars.
I Don't Want to Kill You: Five stars.

I listed my rating because this is what I think a trilogy should do. It should build on each book making the next one even better. You should never get the feeling that the author is just trying to finish it up or complete for the pay check. Dan Wells appears totally invested in each work. In
Claude's Bookzone
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CW: Gruesome murder scenes. (view spoiler)

Well this one got incredibly dark! I'm scared to see how much more twisted this series can get!
[Name Redacted]
First Read: ? - Sept. 3, 2012
Second Read: Sept. 10th, 2015 - Sept. 12th, 2015
Third Read: Oct. 30th - 31st, 2017

I don't even know how to process my reaction to this book. Wells kicks things up a notch for the (apparent) finale* of his "John Cleaver" series, but much of this book is actually dedicated to John's relationships to and with other people -- more than ever, John is forced to confront who and what he is and how others see him. It's incredible, it's gripping, and it's horrifying. And the
Heidi Tighe
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't scare me, which confuses me because it seems like it did many others, but it thrilled me, moved me, inspired me.

First, his characters: in addition to John Wayne Cleaver, who's a pretty unique fellow in and of himself, Wells creates amazing characters. He doesn't take shortcuts or rely on tropes and stereotypes. The voluptuous most popular girl at school? Guess what--she's not an empty-headed bimbo. She's smart, reflective, even wise. Wayne's mother is neither the denial-ridden,
I’m a little sad to think the John Cleaver series is now over. I was really enjoying the socially awkward teenage sociopath and his struggle through high school. While the supernatural twist was a good one, I really wanted to know more about John and his struggle with others and teenage urges. I wonder if there are more books like this.
I AM SO OBSSESSED WITH THIS SERIES! I highly recommend it. If you are looking for something different than you normally read, if you like edgy, the supernatural, anti-heros (if I understand the term correctly), then you will like this.

John Wayne Cleaver is a teenager. John Wayne Cleaver is a sociopath. In I Don't Want to Kill You, John Wayne Cleaver learns what it means to love someone. And it was EPIC! I was NOT expecting this ending and am very sad it went the way it did.

There is so much to sa
Mike (the Paladin)
This is the third installment in the story of our intrepid sociopathic monster hunter/killer.

John has a trying life, as do those who care for him...or find themselves in their vicinity. For the first two books I fond these books very interesting. Here we got very involved in John trying to function in a world that he just doesn't get without seeming too weird, dangerous...frightening. After a while here I burned out on John's frustration. The story simply bogged down a bit in the middle. We've t
Claudie ☾
Huh. For a sociopath, John’s a pretty popular guy… Too bad he doesn’t appreciate all that attention.

Loved this! The mystery was just as engrossing as those in the prequels, and that ending had me almost biting my nails.
Carolyn  Storer
3.5 Stars

I have been waiting for 'I Don't Want To Kill You' for what feels like forever. I absolutely loved the first two 'John Cleaver' novels and just couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the third and final book in this chilling trilogy. I cracked this baby open with great anticipation.

We meet John only a short time on from where 'Mr Monster' finished and there is another demon in town. This time it's after him. John has killed two of the demons friends and it wants revenge. John spends
Mary ♥
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.8/5 stars

Life is too short. It's too precious. We have to live in this world, but we don't have to wallow in it. We don't have to fill our lives with all of this darkness.

Something to listen to while reading this ♥


Trigger Warnings for: Mention of suicides, mention of child pornography

This was definitely the best book in the series, and definitely the best way to spend my Halloween night. I found myself turning the pages at an agonizing pace, feeling dizzy with worry and shaking my head in
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

For most of this book, it was easily a 4-star. It was engaging and entertaining, and I really liked the addition of Marci to the cast. She brought a spark, and it was interesting to see John start to make an actual connection with someone.

I was a bit frustrated with John now and again, in his hunt for the demons, because I'd cottoned on to a couple of things long before he did. I can write it off as his obsession making him a bit myopic, but I still wanted to reach through and shake him a few
Zemira Warner
OMG! What a perfect book! I don't think Dan Wells can top I Don't Want to Kill You. Plot is disturbing, main character is sociopath yet you cheer for him. With every book John feels less upset about wanting to kill and can't wait to see what he's going to do next. ...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
After absolutely loving the first and second books in the John Cleaver series, I couldn't wait to get stuck into this one... and it didn't disappoint.

John's not like other teenage boys. He doesn't have real friends, he tries to keep his distance from girls, he enjoys helping his mother in the family mortuary, he's an expert on serial killers, he has a set of rules he constantly recites to himself, and he's a sociopath. Oh, plus he's killed two demons. Evil demons that decided to terrorise his to
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that wraps up the first arc in the John Cleaver series! I got to say that was also one of the most gut wrenching, intense endings I've read in a while. My brain is still trying to process what happened but that will take some time! The mystery in this book took a very religious turn and I kind of guessed right away from the beginning who the serial killer was. Now in the aspect of the demon that took me awhile to figure out. This series though has been so entertaining and just the right amo ...more
Selena Reiss
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Koan
Dan Wells intrigued me with "I Am Not a Serial Killer" and I absolutely loved "Mr. Monster". He has officially won me over as a fan with this book "I Don't Want to Kill You", perhaps the book with the most heart and heavy lifting of the trilogy.

Boy, what can I say without spoiling this book. First of all, John Wayne Cleaver is an EXCELLENT Protagonist! He is constantly learning from his mistakes, the key being that he makes mistakes. The first book in the series is about controlling his serial
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose, fantasy, horror
I’ve just finished the third book in this series. Right in a row. Of the three John Cleaver books I’ve read, I think this is the best one. Or my favorite at least.

I heard the author say that his intent with the second book was to take this character to a real bottom before he overcame his personal demons enough to combat the external demons. In retrospect, that dark place left a bad taste in my mouth. Something about a fictional character murdering a fictional housecat changes my all too real p
Ryan Lawler
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 bat
Jessica White
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a very, very long time since a book has made me mad, but I loved every second of it.

Read at your own risk, spoilers ahead.

We met John Cleaver, demon hunter, two books ago.

Book three, I Don't Want to Kill You, takes place because John called a demon. I mean, he literally picked up a phone and called a demon.The problem with his plan? He doesn't know what she's going to look like, what she's capable of, or how he's going to find her.

After his last run in with a demon, his relationship w
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an ending to a first trilogy!

John has really grown over the last three books and I am so happy that he is still as broody, clever, ingenious, and warped as he started out in book one. However, the slight turn is that there is hope and he has learned to live with his demons and keep them in check. Use them for his better advantage on taking care of the demons that exist and continue to wreck havoc among his town.

I liked that this book focused on John's romantic side and if he is suitable to
Eric Allen
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the three current John Cleaver books, I felt that this one was probably the weakest. By this time, there's not much more that the author can do to shock us with John's behavior, and I figured out pretty much the entire plot as soon as the first Handyman killing happened. The mystery was a little weak and way too predictable. (view spoiler) ...more
Udy Kumra
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-fiction
I think Dan Wells might be the best writer in the whole world.
Laura Thomas
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, audible

Hold on to your hats people. While I don’t expect every book in a series to be better than the previous ones, I do expect to see characters grow and plots thicken. Never fear, as this one is every bit as good, if not better, than the others.

It’s been a month since John’s last otherworldly encounter and he’s feeling more in control of his urges. Enough to challenge a demon to come and get him. The demon accepts his challenge and the consequences are dark indeed. The author through me a curve ball
Breanna Causey
Have to rate this one lower because I had the twists figured out pretty quickly (one was just too obvious right from the beginning), and I also didn't like that a certain character died.

I really enjoy the puzzle aspect of these books. John profiles and gets inside the heads of the killers and finds out their weaknesses and from there has to puzzle out the best way to defeat them. This book has that in it, but because of the nature of the twists, I didn't feel that the ultimate ending of the book
*Actually 3.5 stars*

The plot this time around was disappointingly full of obvious red herrings. I knew within the first chapter where Nobody was hiding, and it was kind of ridiculous that talented, intelligent John was missing it. Similarly, I found the serial killer who John identified as who he could end up being if he made the wrong choices to be a bit heavy-handed. John was already well aware of the risks of his sociopathy from the very first book. It felt a bit unnecessary to make this such
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series so much!
Miriam is currently slumping
5 stars audio
4 stars story. Wanted to take a break from this series, but shit getting real! Book 4 promises to be super hawt!
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Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new w ...more

Other books in the series

John Cleaver (6 books)
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)
  • Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2)
  • The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver, #4)
  • Over Your Dead Body (John Cleaver, #5)
  • Nothing Left to Lose (John Cleaver, #6)

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The book gods, in their infinite kindness, have built second chances into the very structure of the modern distribution business. If you miss...
47 likes · 1 comments
“We're taking you to the hospital,' it said, 'you're going into shock. Can you tell us how you feel?'
'I feel ...' What do I feel?
I guess that's good enough.
I feel.
“Hello, Bradley,' said Mom. She'd regained her composure after my outburst, and now raised her camera. 'Stand close.'
'No, Mom,' I said. 'No pictures.'
'But you're friend's here now,' she said, waving us together. 'Smile!'
'I don't need a picture with-' the flash snapped '-another guy. That's great, Mom, thank you. Send that one to Dad and tell him we're going steady.”
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