I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
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?
Books about serial killers interest me. A lot. Serial killers, if done well almost always make for a very exciting and suspenseful read. The way they can do something so horrible so easily always intrigued me. So when I saw this book on the shelf it was an immediate buy. I must say that Lyga did not disappoint. I Hunt Killers left me utterly speechless.
Being in Jazz’s head was just terrifying and horribly sad. The way that Jazz was raised by his father was an awful way to grow up and it astounded me how Jazz raised above all that. Jazz is constantly wondering if he will harm the people around him and become the killer his father wanted him to be. Even though Jazz is always doubting himself as a good person you know that he really is just a deeply disturbed, good-hearted kid. Jazz is an incredibly endearing, sad, and believable character that will stay in your mind for a very long time if not the rest of your life. Also let me just say that Jazz is very hilarious with his black humour:
Making a duplicate key from a wax impression was an extremely useful skill to have if you were the sort of person who liked invading other people’s homes and killing them.
That little line will never leave me. Ever. Jazz’s hemophiliac crime investigation partner, Howie was an awesome and hilarious addition to the book. Jazz and Howie’s conversations are seriously funny:
“What if the whole thing was just an accident?”
“And what? Accidentally cut off three fingers postmortem? ‘Oops, oh no, my girlfriend just died! Clumsy me, in trying to perform CPR, I chopped off some fingers! Guess I’ll take them with me…Oh, darn, where did that middle finger go?’ “
Their hilarious friendship is one of the big reasons I enjoyed this book so much! I love how even though Howie is very weak physically Jazz still treats like an equal. Connie, Jazz’s girlfriend is an awesome female character even though she stays out the action throughout most of the book. She is strong, smart, and speaks for what she believes. I really love how Howie and Connie all have a positive effect on Jazz and help him stay “human”. Jazz’s father and the killer well let’s just say I hated them. Oh, and Jazz’s grandma is very delusional-and hilarious. The way she reacted to the cops and the media made me laugh so much my stomach started to hurt. She can also be very cruel though…
The murder mystery was awesome. My heart was hammering in my chest at times. The suspense had me up awake in my bed reading with a flashlight. I never knew who the killer was until the very end when he/she was revealed. The climax was exciting and the ending….was amazing! One complaint I had was how the story was told. Sometimes the book will switch to the killers POV, which I was never really a fan of. It kind of ruined the flow for me but it was just a minor issue.
The writing was awesome. I do warn that I Hunt Killers is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of blood and gore and the descriptive writing just makes it even more gruesome. Considering that this is a YA novel I was really surprised about all the descriptions of the murders scenes and the bodies of the victims. If you are not one to shy away from blood and gore than you will probably enjoy the writing as much as I did! Lyga did a great job portraying Jazz and the killer. The dark humour was all put into the right places and never seemed offending or forced. I loved the writing almost as much as I love the story and characters.
I Hunt Killers is definitely one of the best YA murder mysteries I have ever read. Judging by the ending there is going to be a sequel! I am going to mark this on my calendar with a big red pen and blood splatters!
I give I Hunt Killers 5 out of 5 Bloodsplatters