Nothing Left To Lose by Dan Wells

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Praise for JOHN CLEAVER SERIES

“Top-notch writing and well-structured suspense elements keep the story moving briskly.”―Publishers Weekly

“Fans of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series will welcome Wells’s gripping debut.” ―Publishers Weekly on I Am Not a Serial Killer

“Wells’s debut is an unabashedly gory gem. This deft mix of several genres features a completely believable teenage sociopath (with a heart of gold), dark humor, a riveting mystery, and enough description of embalming to make any teen squeamish, even if they won’t admit it. Buy multiples where it won’t be banned.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on I Am Not a Serial Killer

“This dazzling, un-put-downable debut novel proves beyond a doubt that Dan Wells has the gift. His teenage protagonist is as chilling as he is endearing. More John Wayne Cleaver, please.” ―F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

“The beauty of the prose, mixed with the depth of characterization, gives the haunting, first person narrative a human touch. Regardless of your age or your genre preferences, you will find this story both profound and enthralling.” ―Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author

Nothing Left to Lose
Synopsis 
 

New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells continues his acclaimed John Wayne Cleaver series, popular with fans of Dexter

Hi. My name is John Cleaver, and I hunt monsters. I used to do it alone, and then for a while I did it with a team of government specialists, and then the monsters found us and killed almost everyone, and now I hunt them alone again.

This is my story.

In this thrilling installment in the John Wayne Cleaver series, Dan Wells brings his beloved antihero into a final confrontation with the Withered in a conclusion that is both completely compelling and completely unexpected.

Don’t forget to catch the film adaptation of the first installment in the series, I am Not a Serial Killer, in theaters August 26th.

 

Excerpt 
There are only so many ways to get a good look at a dead body. You can always just make your own, of course, which is what most people do. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and you can do it with things you have lying around your own home: a hammer, a kitchen knife, a relative who won’t shut up, and bam. Your very own corpse. As DIY projects go, murder is easier and more common than painting your living room, though—to be fair—significantly harder to hide. And it has other downsides as well: first, it’s murder. So there’s that. Second, and more pertinent to my own situation, it’s only really helpful if the dead body you want to see is one you have ready access to while it’s still alive. With the really good bodies, this is rarely the case. Let’s say you want to examine a specific corpse, like, oh, I don’t know, an old lady who died of mysterious causes in a small town in Arizona. Just to pull an example out of the air. Then it gets much harder. If you need to look at a specific body, it helps to be an actual cop or, better yet, an agent of the FBI. You could mock up some quick excuse as to why this particular dead body was a key part of your investigation, go in, flash a badge, done. It might even be true, which would be a nice side benefit but isn’t really necessary. If you weren’t actually in law enforcement but you knew enough about it, you could waltz in with a fake badge and try to accomplish the same thing. But if you were also, for example, eighteen years old, convincing the local law enforcement to believe you would be easier said than done. The same goes for a teenager pretending to be a coroner, pretending to be a forensic examiner, and pretending to be a reporter. I’ve used the “I’m researching something for the school paper” line a couple of times, and it works well enough, but only when the something you’re researching isn’t a decaying human being. That leaves three main options: first, if you can get there quick enough, you can try to trick the coroner into believing that you’re the new driver for the local mortuary, assigned to pick up the body and deliver it to the embalmer. You’d need some fake paperwork but, honestly, not as much as you might think. And since “driver” is an entry-level position, your age isn’t going to matter. And if you grew up in a mortuary and assisted in the family business since you were ten and knew the whole industry backward and forward—again, just to pull an example out of the air—you could do it pretty easily. But only if you got there in time. Let’s say you didn’t, because you were two states away and travel solely by hitchhiking (or, honestly, whatever reason—you just can’t get there in time, is the important part). In that case, you move on to the second option, which requires more or less the same skills: break in to the mortuary after hours and show yourself around. I say “more or less the same skills” because you never know how good the mortuary’s security system is going to be, and you’re a teenage mortician, not a cat burglar. In a small town, or even a biggish city, if the funeral home is old enough, you might be able to make it work because they don’t always have the funds to update their equipment. It’s kind of an industry problem. But let’s say they did update their equipment—no cameras, but an alarm with a motion sensor—and that you definitely don’t want to get caught breaking into a funeral home. I mean, I guess nobody would want to get caught breaking into anything, but let’s say for this example that you really, really don’t want it. Let’s even go so far as to say that the law enforcement agencies we mentioned earlier, which our totally hypothetical teenage mortuary expert was briefly tempted to impersonate, are, in fact, actively searching for him. So anything illegal is out of the question. That leaves us with only one option: we have to wait until the mortuary opens its doors, pulls the corpse out of the back room, and invites anyone who wants to see it to just come in and look at it. Which is never going to happen, right? Wrong. It’s called a viewing, and it happens every day. They don’t let you really get in there and poke around, but it’s better than nothing. And Kathy Schrenk, a little old lady who died under mysterious circumstances in the Arizona town of Lewisville, had a viewing today. And a teenage mortician with an FBI background stood outside hoping his suit didn’t look too filthy. Hi. My name is John Cleaver, and my life sounds kind of weird when I describe it like this.

 

You can purchase Nothing Left To Lose at the following Retailers

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository 

 

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Photo Credit: Micah Demoux

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

DAN WELLS writes a little bit of everything, but he is best known for the Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, the first book of which is now a major motion picture. He is a co-host of the educational podcast Writing Excuses, for which he won a Hugo and now helps run a yearly, week-long writing conference. In addition to novels, novellas, and shorts, he has also written and produced a stage play, called “A Night of Blacker Darkness,” and works as a staff writer on the TV show “Extinct.” He has loved in the US, Mexico, and Germany, and currently resides in Utah with his wife and six children and 439 boardgames.

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