John Wells (Klavan) Books

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The name John Wells refers to a series of novels written by Andrew Klavan under the pseudonym of Keith Peterson. John Wells is also the primary protagonist of this series.

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Order of John Wells Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Trapdoor ( By: Keith Peterson) 1988 Description / Buy
2 There Fell a Shadow ( By: Keith Peterson) 1988 Description / Buy
3 The Rain ( By: Keith Peterson) 1988 Description / Buy
4 Rough Justice ( By: Keith Peterson) 1989 Description / Buy
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When John Wells is first introduced in The Trapdoor, the first book in the series, he is a New York Star reporter that has his sights set on a teen suicide story. However, because of the conflict in which he is engaged with his bosses, Wells is sent upstate away from the crime beat.

However, rather than slow news days, Wells finds that his new posting has its fair share of death, and he wastes no time in throwing on his investigative hat and searching for the truth. The Trapdoor accurately captures the character of John Wells.

Wells is a journalist through and through. He believes in the importance of journalists. He believes that the field of journalism exists to execute a very specific purpose. And he often takes offense with the frivolous nature of modern news.

As far as Wells is concerned, there is no place on the front page for stories that have no real impact on the lives of readers. And Wells makes it his goal to take the journalism arena back to the days of hard hitting news stories.

Because John Wells is so stubborn and because he simply refuses to move with the times, the protagonist keeps landing on the wrong side of his superiors. And while he initially relishes in that conflict and looks forward to challenging the powers that be and possibly even forcing them to adhere to the right ethical and moral standards, Wells’ principles land him in a lot of trouble.

While he doesn’t outright lose his job, Wells’ principles force him to endure situations he could have avoided if he had just toed the line. However, Andrew Klavan writes these novels in such a way that every attempt Wells’ bosses make to get him away from the front lines only throws him deeper into trouble.

Wells is always stumbling across secrets and conspiracies. And his journalistic instincts will not permit him to let a suspicion go until he has the full story laid out before him.

The John Wells books have been commended for their tight storytelling and compact dialogue.

Author Andrew Klavan has been writing hard-boiled mysteries and supernatural thrillers for a very long time. A native of New York City and a former student at the University of California at Berkley, Klavan published his first novel in 1977. He worked in radio for a while and then tried his hand at proper journalism. The things he heard and witnessed during his days as a reporter for a local newspaper drove him to pursue literary crime fiction.

John Wells Awards

The Trapdoor was an Edgar Award Finalist in 1989 in the category of Best Paperback. So was Rough Justice, though that book was a Finalist for the Anthony Award in 1990. The Rain actually won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback in 1990.

Best John Wells Awards

This series of novels stands out because of the distinct hard-boiled style that Andrew Klavan applies to John Wells’ story, with the best John Wells books including:

There Fell a Shadow: Timothy Colt isn’t the most recognizable face in New York. But the war correspondent’s bylines have a global reach. When Colt goes to the Midtown Press pub, it is with the intention of unwinding with two of his friends, editors from fancy New York publications.

When the old times have been properly rehashed, John Wells accompanies Colt back to his room where they lose themselves in additional bottles of alcohol. By the time Wells regains consciousness, Colt has been murdered.

Wells barely survives the conflict with the assassin who flees out the window. Wells begins to dig into Colt’s past with the hope of finding his killer.

The Rain: When Wells turns down the chance to buy pictures of a congressman in a compromising situation and the contact in question turns up dead later on, the New York Star reporter’s bosses are not pleased.

The Congressman’s misbehavior still gets out but the New York Star missed out on the chance to break the scoop. Now John Wells has one week to get an equally juicy scoop or he’s out of a job.

Other Book Series You May Like

Check out the “Adam Stanley” Series by Netta Newbound. These books are psychological thrillers that follow the exploits of Adam Stanley, a Detective Inspector who uses his perfect intuition to catch deranged killers many of whom struggle with psychotic tendencies.

You may also enjoy the “McRyan Mystery” Series by Roger Stelljes. These books follow the exploits of Michael Mackenzie McRyan, a handsome fourth generation police officer that solves crimes in the city of St. Paul.

What Is The Next Book in The John Wells Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The John Wells Series. The newest book is Rough Justice and was released on January, 1st 1989.

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