Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
(Jasper Dent #1)
April 2, 2012
Little, Brown and Company
359 pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult Horror/Mystery
(Contains: Graphic & disturbing images, sexual references)
Source: eARC for Honest review

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?

OK, so this book is creepy. Completely creepy. And disturbing. Creepy and disturbing. The premise is completely captivating, though. Jazz is the son of the world's worst serial killer, who has been locked up in jail for the past 4 years. But despite the four years apart with no contact, the psychological repercussions are numerous. The amount of thought and research that the author took to give us a realistic, and highly disturbing view of what Jazz's life and mental state would be with his unusual and terrible upbringing, felt completely legitimate. Hence the creepy, disturbing factor. Oh, and then there's the new serial killer in town piling up new bodies in horrific ways. And now Jazz, for redemption or hope or forgiveness or a need to prove to himself and/or the world that he's not the same as his father, is working very hard to stop this new killer. The plot, the mystery, the suspense, were very well played.  I liked that this book kept me guessing until the end - twists, turns, terror, and all.

I am not normally a horror or murder mystery reader, but this story completely pulled me in, grabbing me with its intriguing concept, and keeping me engaged with its addictive plot and compelling characters. I was both sympathetic and fascinated by Jazz and his circumstances, and the inner struggle he had to mentally and physically differentiate himself from his father's doctrine and his own beliefs. He was completely fascinating, and so very likable in his honest struggles. The author also gave Jazz such a creative and unique supporting cast, truly making the story richer beyond the horrors. I loved his best friend Howie and his girlfriend Connie. They're fantastic! The back story of Howie and Jazz is lovely. And Connie is such a star, plus they are an inter-racial couple, and I am always all for that. Then there's G. William, whom I couldn't help but admire. Truly an all-star cast. This was a fantastic read, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

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