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Book Review: I Hunt Killers

Saturday, April 7, 2012
I Hunt Killers
by Barry Lyga

5 Stars: Recommended
Publication: April 3rd, 2012
Pages: 359
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

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?

Barry Lyga takes nature versus nurture into the criminal mind. Seventeen-year-old Jazz's father is a notorious serial killer with an incredibly high body count. His "dear old daddy" has made Jazz watch him commit some grisly crimes, and he's trained Jazz to take over after him. Jazz doesn't know what to believe. He's afraid that he might take after his dad despite his belief that it is possible for serial killers to love some people.

Jazz is a very complex and believable character. While the vast majority of us have never been subject to Jazz's kind of upbringing, he is very relatable. Looking through his mind, I understood why he is so afraid of harming others, of being consumed by the criminal he feels lurking within himself. However, he has a best friend (Howie) and his girlfriend (Connie). These two people believe in him and give him the support that he needs as he sets out to find the new serial killer in town.

The story is engaging and filled with details that bring the crime scenes to life. Despite the dark features in this novel, it has humor through both Jazz's voice and that of Howie, who relieves much of the tension running throughout the novel. The combination of humor and the serious nature of the work is well-balanced. It is dark and disturbing, and it had me laughing from start to finish, a credit to the genius of this work.

I Hunt Killers explores how both the environment and genetics work to develop a child's personality and behaviors and how an innate sense of morality can overcome the criminal mind (or the mind that has been trained to think like a criminal). There are also scenes told from the killer's point of view, giving us the perspective of a criminal and the child of a criminal king of sorts. It appears that there will be a second book, which I will be looking forward to reading when it comes out!

Note: There are grisly scenes in the novel and swearing. This book is recommended for older teens and up and is not for sensitive readers.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
2 comments on "Book Review: I Hunt Killers"
  1. I love the themes Barry Lyga looks into. And the POV character sounds so conflicted but also determined.

    Thanks for the review:)

  2. I'm waiting to read I HUNT KILLERS - during the daylight hours. It looks amazing.


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