I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 3 October, 2012 by Amanda / 28 Comments

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga {Amanda’s Review}I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Also in this series: Game
Genres: Young Adult, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Boys & Men, Family
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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?
-from Goodreads

Was wooed by Jazz’s sociopathic ways.

My Thoughts on I Hunt Killers

I first heard of I Hunt Killers through Smash, as I believe it was a book for the book club she is a member of. I read her review and the synopsis and I knew I had to read this book. KNEW it. I Hunt Killers was basically written for me. It’s just that good. And creepy. But good. And also slightly creepy. I want the next book — Game, set for release in April 2013 — NOW. (Please?) I Hunt Killers will likely appeal to fans of mysteries/thrillers who like a good serial killer book or fans of the TV show Dexter.

Oh, Jazz! You have wooed me with your sociopathic ways and your desire not to be the person your father groomed you to be. I Hunt Killers is the type of book that grips the line between murderer and non-murderer by its balls and doesn’t let go. As someone who loves books and TV shows that explore that line, I was completely enthralled by this book. Jazz has been raised by his father–who just so happens to be a very famous serial killer and sociopath. The sociopath aspect is important (sociopaths and psychopaths can both be murderers, but the two types are very, very different) because how Jazz views the world–and the people in it–have been shaped by his father. At 17, Jazz is technically not able to be labeled as a sociopath–that diagnosis is generally only made at 18–but he displays a lot of behaviors and feelings (or lack thereof) that are consistent with sociopaths. He’s also aware of this. He struggles against what his father has trained him to be. I wanted to hug Jazz. But I probably wouldn’t, lest it cause him to imagine all the different ways it were possible to kill me.

Though I Hunt Killers is about Jazz, there is no way I could write a review without mentioning Jazz’s girlfriend Connie and his friend Howie. Howie! I have mad love for Howie: faithful, hemophiliac sidekick, Howie. Jazz often uses Howie to keep himself on track. You know, to stay on track while the two get into trouble and break the law. Repeatedly. But Howie grounds Jazz; Howie keeps Jazz focused on what matters, and this is something that Jazz struggles with throughout the book. I liked Connie, and I liked what she stood for, but I can’t say that I developed a connection with her as much as I did with Howie. Regardless, Howie and Connie are the type of secondary characters that truly shine and add an extra layer of awesome to the book.

I Hunt Killers provides a mystery that is at once easy and difficult to solve. There are some connections that are relatively easy to make, and there are other connections that don’t ever click into place until the very end. It made for a book that had me questioning every conclusion I jumped to (It’s this person, right? Or, no, that’s too easy. Or is it?). Jazz has an all too familiar look into the killer’s mind, and he’s determined to prove once and for all that he’s not his father’s son. Also, love the ending. Love who did it. Love the implications for the future and what that means for Jazz. And now I want MOAR.



Filed under: ESR: 9, Mystery, Review: Amanda, YA, ,


28 Responses to “I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. It does have a Dexter-like feel to it, doesn’t it? I’ve heard amazing things about this book but just haven’t gotten around to reading it (isn’t that the way of it? sheesh). Jazz sounds like an amazing character–scary, but amazing.

  2. YAY! So pleased you enjoyed this one. It is one of the best YA books I read this year and I seriously want to hunt down Game. The internal struggle Jazz experienced was the best, and HOWIE! Adore! Dad is wicked creepy and that scene with him in jail had my hair standing on end!

  3. This was a surprise (in a good way) read for me as I don’t like gore and serial killers, but Lyga’s book had me hooked. There were parts where I wanted to read between my fingers as I shielded my eyes. Jazz’s father gave me the creeps. Like Hannibal Lecter. *Shudders* Can’t wait for book 2 too!

  4. I wanted to hug Jazz. But I probably wouldn’t, lest it cause him to imagine all the different ways it were possible to kill me.
    I want to read this book now. I like blood and guts and violence and awesome characters. *adds to wishlist*

    • Yeah… there are some disturbing aspects to this book. I watch a lot of true crime, though, so I think that prepared me a little better. I would be happy to read the next one and let you know how disturbing it gets. ;)

  5. Wow Amanda! I had kind of written this one off as being not for me, but I absolutely love the sound of Jazz and his struggles to prove he is not his father, but rather his own person. I think I need to read this. Immediately. With the lights on though. I scare easily ;-)

  6. OK, seriously, I read your review last week, but didn’t have time to comment and KFSGKFSJGKFSGFS. OMG.

    To be honest, I suck. I’d ignored this book ‘cos the cover does NOTHING for me, but it sounds AMAZING.

    And and and… seriously. AWESOME :D
    So glad you loved ♥