I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
So, I read this book for the first time approximately 4 years ago, and I remember being really wowed by it. It still holds up as a re-read, but when you know what the twists are, they’re a lot less satisfying. Anyways, I Hunt Killers is a really unique story. It follows Jasper, otherwise known as Jazz, who is the son of Billy Dent, the world’s most infamous serial killer. Billy believed everyday was Take-Your-Son-to-Work Day, so Jazz grew up seeing crime scenes from the criminal’s perspective. Years after Billy has been caught and sent to prison, bodies start showing up again in Lobo’s Nod, and all eyes turn to Jazz. To clear himself of suspicion, he sets out to find the killer and prove once and for all, he’s nothing like his father.
What I Liked:
- The cast of characters in this book is fantastic. I love how Jazz’s friends are the people who keep him balanced and grounded. Howie is my personal favorite. He’s the perfect foil for Jazz. While Jazz is the serial killer protégé fighting against his father’s brainwashing, Howie is an extreme hemophiliac, meaning he could die from a papercut. And Connie, Jazz’s girlfriend, is basically his morality anchor, meanings she pulls him back when he starts to channel Billy.
- The plot twists had me guessing the entire book. I really loved not being about to figure it out ahead of time. Also, the reveals were weirdly satisfying?
- This story has a really unique point-of-view that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and it was quite refreshing. It was interesting to see the Nature vs Nurture struggle Jazz was constantly cycling though inside his head.
- I have to compliment the details and clues that were artfully strewn throughout this book, especially this time when I was rereading it. I feel like in knowing how the book ends, I picked up way more foreshadowing this time and it made me wonder how the hell did I not pick up on it at all the first time around.
- Also, this book (or at least the first printing) has a really cool undercover. I think I Hunt Killers was the first time I had seen such an elaborate undercover.
What I Did Not Like:
- I don’t really have any complaints, but maybe some of the gore was a little much? Definitely made me squeamish more than once, but to be fair, that’s pretty much expected for this book.
Overall, I have to say this book is fantastic. Both times I’ve picked it up I’ve sped through it. I Hunt Killers has more to it than just your basic serial killer plot; there’s intrigue, psycho-analyzation, and well fleshed out characters. It’s a terrific book (and trilogy) to read if you want to try out the thriller genre without jumping into the Adult Deep End. I really can’t recommend this book enough.