Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Genre: Mystery/Thriller Age Level: YA Source: Library Series: Jasper Dent #1 Interest: plot
I Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Age Level: YA
Source: Library
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Interest: plot

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.Except for the body.
Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some 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 criminals’ point of view.
And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo’s Nod. Again.
In an effort to prove murder doesn’t run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
From acclaimed author Barry Lyga comes a riveting thriller about a teenager trying to control his own destiny in the face of overwhelming odds.


“What if a puppet could cut its own strings, and in that act of defiance and strength of will become truly alive? Become is own puppetmaster?”

I was rather disappointed by this book as I expected so much more from it. I had picked this up hoping for a chilling mystery and a crazy plot but instead got a story about a kid trying to figure out who he was with a simple mystery on the side.

Jasper Dent is an extremely interesting character, being the son of a serial killer and all, but he began to annoy me toward the end of the book. Jasper, or Jazz is not the bad boy type you’d expect but is instead confused and brave. Every time he acts like his father he questions his future and whether he is destined to be a serial killer as well; if it is in his blood. However, this indecision took up too large a part of the book. Every time he did something he stopped to question his motives. Just do something and stop having nervous break downs!

The other characters were okay, but I felt that they were only there to offset Jazz’s personality. What are the chances his best friend would be a hemophiliac and his girlfriend be crazy brave and sure of herself and Jazz? Not very likely, though I do appreciate the fact that he was friends with both of them before the book started instead of the usual romance plot. Jazz’s grandmother and G. William were interesting characters but were only there to provide obstacles for Jazz.

For a book whose plot revolves around the mystery, it sure was a lame one. There were only three suspects and the motive and methods were known. To be fair, there was a twist at the end, but it wasn’t a shocking one.

The book wasn’t as creepy and gorey as I thought it would be either. Sure, it had its moments, but overall, it could have been a lot more gruesome and still have stayed within the realm non-nightmare inducing. Though that might just be because I’ve desensitized myself.

The best part about the book was the insight into the mind of a sociopathic serial killer. Jazz vividly remembers his father’s ‘advice’ and we a treated to scenes from the killers POV. Once again, I thought this could have been taken a step further. I’m super paranoid at the best of times and this didn’t set me off.

On the positive side, the book is hard to put down and moves quickly. It gives you a unique angle on the murder mystery genre and the writing flows really well. I will be looking forward to reading the following book in the series. If anything I’ve said appeals to you, then you should read it. If not, you may be better off reading something else.

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Have you read this book? What did you think? 


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