Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga
Synopsis (Goodreads):
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?
My Thoughts: Holy... Wow. I picked this book up after Amanda reviewed it because it sounded creepy and dark and unlike anything I'd read recently. Holy smokes. It's all of those things. It's all of those things and more. It's dark and bloody and creepy and visceral. On top of all that, it's heartbreaking. Jazz has all the training that his dad pushed on him warring with his desire to not hurt the people he comes in contact with. He doesn't want to be able to spot a person's weaknesses in a glance. He doesn't want to know how to place a body so as to muddle the police investigation. But he does. And that's something he has to deal with.

A big piece of what keeps Jazz connected to the world of normality are his best friend, Howie, and his girlfriend, Connie. He takes his cues from them. By observing them, he's learned to act like a normal teen and not one who grew up learning how to dismember and quicklime his problems away. Howie is his touchstone. As fragile as he is, he's a constant reminder to Jazz that "people matter". He's funny and full of spunk and he's willing to follow Jazz into anything despite his medical condition. Connie is important in such a different way. She's the one who doesn't take shit. She's Jazz's port in the storm of his life. She also has his back and is able to tell Jazz things that others can't or won't.

This book doesn't shy away from the blood and guts. In fact, there are buckets of blood tied into this mystery. At times, it's disarmingly violent but it's the things we don't see -- both the things that are hinted at in Jazz's own past and the things that the murderer does -- that leave such a lasting impression. It's probably no surprise that I didn't figure out the killer prior to the reveal but I was constantly slipping from person to person thinking "Well, it could be that one. Or that one. Or THAT one." It made the ending so much more delicious when things came together.

This book won't be for everyone. It's graphically violent at times and traveling through a killers mind, even when filtered through Jazz's own perceptions, puts us in a darkly twisted place. I don't think I have the words to tell you how much I'm looking forward to book 2. Just... Wow.

Books in this series
1. I Hunt Killers - Hardcover | Kindle
2. Game

Author Links
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |


  1. I like the idea of Jazz having intuition into people. And that I won't be able to figure out who! The surprise at a reveal is the best. I'm getting chills already. Can't wait to read this book! :D Thanks for the great review!

    1. I am SO excited to read book 2. I really was blown away by this book. Enjoy!

  2. YES! YESSSSSS! You really hit the nail on the head about Jazz constantly battling what he knows with that he wants to be. That was the most interesting aspect of the story for me. And Howie and Connie were both standouts! Loved the ending and LOVED Daddy Dent! Yikes!

  3. That TWIST at the end has me pumped about The Game. We may need a 24 hour read-a-thon to tackle the dark depths together.

  4. This book got SO graphic! I'll admit that I was ready to put it down at one point ... but it was still good. Very Dexter-like. I'm intrigued about the second one -- not sure if I'll jump out and read it immediately, though I will make sure I'm not eating when I read the next one. :)

    1. I loved this book. It was dark and awful at times but it was sooooo good. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.