Author: Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent (1)
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: 03 April 2012
Date Read: January 2013
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?
I Hunt Killers is a chillingly creepy story filled with serial killers, blood and gore. Lyga did a brilliant job creeping the shit out of me. Every vivid detail sent shudders through my body. The cuts, the knives, the 'just like chicken', the sexual assault. Argh, creepy creepy creepy. And I would have expected nothing less. This is, after all, about serial killers. The mystery of the killer kept me on my toes, as well. I honestly didn't know who it was until about two paragraphs before it was revealed.
Raised by a serial killer, Jazz know the fundamentals to taking trophies,- iPod, lipstick, fingers- avoiding detection while staking out a crime scene and how to inflict pain with the smallest of blows. Jazz, you manipulative bastard. He knows how to use himself and his emotions to get people to do things for him. He knows his way around a psychopath's mind, because he's a genius or because he's a psychopath himself. Either way he has a brilliant, terrifying mind. Jazz is truly one messed up kid. He has his serial killer urges that he tries so hard to push down but he can't help but indulge some of them. He is constantly questioning himself, wallowing and drowning in his self-pity. It sounds pathetic but it was so interesting to read about the self-doubt and the uncertainty he had about himself. He's so scared of turning out like his dad. He examines every action and thought to make sure that they are his own and not influenced by his father. It's a constant inner struggle for him and I loved it.
I really liked Connie and Howie's presence in the novel. Both of them keep Jazz grounded from his crazy serial killer urges. Connie brings out the best in Jazz and he strives to be his best for her. If what Jazz and Howie has, isn't real friendship, then I don't know what is. I mean, Howie can't get tattoos because he's a hemophiliac so Jazz volunteers to get the tattoo on his body instead. Jazz currently has three tattoos chosen by Howie on his body. That is crazy, stupid, love.
What makes this better is the fact that it's not all about the killings and the chase. There's some real depth in this. At the heart of it, I Hunt Killers is about the relationship between father and son, between Jazz and Billy. Jazz is just desperately scared and desperately wants to be his own person, to escape his father's controlling guidance. I really do think Billy loved his son in his own sick, perverse way. There were lots of intimate (creepy, psychotic) moments between the two and Jazz had been brain washed to see his father as the most amazing thing in the world. Jazz didn't know it was wrong because it was the only thing he's known. Take away the serial killer stuff and Billy is not all that different from some of the parents. He passed on what he considered essential life (har-har) skills, he wanted his son to grow up just like his Dear Old Dad and to achieve bigger and better things than he ever did.
I Hunt Killers is a thrilling novel that will leave its readers begging for more. It will find a bigger audience than others in its genre because of the substance, gore and intensity this book has. I highly recommend this book to anyone (but maybe not the younger readers, or those easily put off by gore. There is a lot of it in here. Like a lot.)