CBR #86 – Lumberjacking Off

The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells

I really dug the John Cleaver trilogy. It was kind of a trippy intro into a serial killer’s mind.  Demons essentially were possessing the bodies of people around him and he was Dextering the Christ out of them.  It was unflinching in its murders, and that was the appeal.  Cleaver tried to maintain his sociopathic lack of empathy, but even he was crushed by some of the people in his life who were taken from him.  It definitely ended with the potential for more story.

And so they took advantage of that in what I was stunned to find was a fourth book.  It’s hard to explain what my problems are with it without getting too spoiler-y, so I apologize.  If you’d like to read a dynamic trilogy, check out the series.  But this one was a little disappointing.

It got a bit procedural.  Now that John’s working with a crack team of FBI agents to track down the Withered, and with the help of Brooke/Nobody, they’re basically going from city to city, murdering up the Withered as part of a secret government cabal.  It felt like Law & Order: Supernatural.  The beauty of both Dexter and John Cleaver were their strict moral codes.  They weren’t trying to be bad guys.  They were trying to satiate their own dark appetites.

And while this certainly tore the door off the hinges and fucked up everything in the china shop, it was a bit empty.  It just didn’t have that verve that watching a boy pretend to be normal in a strange situation did with the first three.  If there are more books, they’ll be John tracking down more Withered — even though he maybe iced the big bad?  I guess it’ll involve him confronting Brooke at some point.  I don’t know.  It was so humdrum.

It wasn’t quite the fuck you to the fans that the Dexter finale was.  But ironically, Dexter’s book finale is due this summer, so we’ll see if Lindsay can bow out gracefully.


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