Title: I Hunt Killers
*Series: Jasper Dent #1
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: Hardcover; 361
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Content Screening: Violence, Adult Language
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who like darker stories, especially those with an interest in serial murderers.
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What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
Holy YA Batman. This book completely shattered all expectations I had before picking it up. I've always been a bit intrigued by serial killers, morbid as that may seem. It's something about the cold and calculating personas that they have one moment, while having the ability to blend into normal society the next. Jazz's dad was a perfect example of this. Meticulous and horrific, and yet wholly intriguing. Being in the head of a boy raised by a serial killer was intense. And yet, I loved it.
Let's talk about that boy. Jazz. I truly think it is his character that brings this story to life. Raised by a monster, desensitized to the pain of others, Jazz has a point of view that is quite interesting. His life has been filled with a battle between what he knows he should feel, and what he actually does feel. Always battling the darkness inside himself. Is he truly a copy of his father like everyone else believes? Or is there something within Jazz that keeps him from turning into that stigma? This question drives Jazz in I Hunt Killers. Motivates him to solve the murders, and keep the part of himself that still sees the light.
Lucky for Jazz, Barry Lyga gives him some allies in his quest for some type of normalcy. The other characters in this book may be minor ones, but they truly do just as much to bring the book to life as Jazz himself does. Howie was by far my favorite. I won't spoil anything for you, in case you haven't had the pleasure of devouring this book, but trust me he's amazing. I loved the way that he and Jazz are so completely different from one another. One strong, but afraid of his inner demons. The other weak on the outside, but with a strength all his own on the inside. It is these characters that keep Jazz sane, and move the story along.
I will warn you to make sure you have a strong stomach if you are going to take a shot at this amazing story. It is definitely a serial killer novel at its core, and there are some shocking pieces that might make you cringe. Heck, I don't think you'd be human if at least a bit of this story didn't affect you. Still, it's so compulsively readable. Anything you ever wanted to know about the mind of a serial murderer, about the motivations they feel, or even about the crime scenes they leave behind, it's here.
What can I say? I Hunt Killers is just stunning. Gorgeously morbid, and so unique. There is absolutely nothing that I did not love about this book! Barry Lyga is a genius and I simply cannot wait for more! The ending tore me in half with wanting. This is going to be a series that I will follow with a fan girl intensity. You can be sure of that.