I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Release Date – April 3, 2012
Publisher Website – Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 359 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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?This novel really should come with a warning - beware when and where you read. There is a high chance of spine tingling scares if read in the right environment. Barry Lyga does not flinch from the horror, and depravity of serial killers, and he delves into the mind of them with what feels like chilling accuracy.
The writing is one of the stronger points of the novel. I liked the taunt, suspense filled chapters and the mixture of humour was a great touch. A lot of the novel is Jazz's inner dialogue and it could have ended up being predictable, and off-putting but Barry's writing makes it work.
Nature vs. Nurture is something that is often debated. What if both were a factor? Genetics, upbringing and the fundamental elements of Jazz’s childhood are all factors in making Jazz who he is today. The question Jazz is asking himself though is who exactly is he. The haunted, almost desperate way Jazz tries to cling to anything that makes him nothing like his father is heart pulling. He wants so badly to not be his father, but the urges are there, and Jazz isn’t sure he wants to fight them. Jazz’s character keeps you intrigued because you don’t know what he is going to do. You can’t predict him, and that makes for refreshing character development. I wanted to get closer to him, as much as I wanted to run away. He’s charming, chillingly so, and comparisons to Dexter Morgan are spot on. You’ll root for him, but being alone with him would set you on edge.
I adored Jazz’s friend Howie. Providing a dash of humour and someone that cares for Jazz while knowing everything makes us relate not only to Howie, but Jazz himself. Howie having hemophilia make me worry about him and hold my breath whenever he got involved. Jazz's girlfriend Connie was someone who challenged Jazz and he needed that.
The hunter vs. prey, cat and mouse game that Jazz and the serial killer play throughout the novel is fascinating, and the identity of the killer is shocking. It’ll keep you holding your breath and anticipating what is going to come next.
The ending left me wanting a sequel, as Barry Lyga sets up the next book perfectly. With plenty of childhood secrets for Jazz to unravel, and a new determination to go down a different path, to not continue Jazz’s story would be the ultimate crime. I look forward to hunting with him again, and hopefully soon.
This book will chill you, give you nightmares and leave you wanting to spend some more time with Jazz. Just make sure to read it in the daylight…