Review

Review: Game by Barry Lyga

Genre: Mystery, Thriller Age Level: Young Adult Series: Jasper Dent #2
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Age Level: Young Adult
Series: Jasper Dent #2

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.

4/5

I was rather hesitant heading into Game as the moment I picked it up all the things I disliked about I Hunt Killers came flooding back to me. Yet I needn’t have worried because Game takes the idea presented in I Hunt Killers and brings it to a new level.

Jazz and I didn’t get on too well in book one, but I liked his POV this time around. I’m not sure if his character actually changed, or if it’s just me, but Jazz’s inner struggles felt less like a distraction from the plot and more like an essential part of the novel. As he becomes more comfortable with his darker side, he discovers even more darkness inside him. His character development kept me turning the pages; his inner conflict as much a mystery as the plot. I’m still not such a big fan of Howie or Connie, but I like that with them in the mix, the plot is able to encompass a lot more. They also helped to provide a comparison for Jazz’s behaviour with normal teenage behavior.

The central mystery is way more complex than book one, throwing me for a complete loop more times than I’d care to admit. It is quite intricate in comparison to other mysteries I have read, with a complex murder to solve and many interconnected subplots. Even Jazz is in way over his head, caught up in a grand scheme. I was rather impressed when the ‘game’ was explained to me and had to keep reminding myself that murder should not be so commendable or fascinating.  The gore which I was missing in book one is present here, so do beware.

Suspension of belief is required at times for it is a bit of a stretch to believe that the FBI would allow someone like Jazz to assist them. It’s also hard to believe that they would miss some of the clues he picked up and on top of that, some of the clues don’t really make logical sense. But, if you can put all this aside, which isn’t that hard to do, the rest of the story is very gripping and real. It is really hard to put Game down and it messes with your head as much as the sociopaths in the book.

I am interested in psychology so I enjoyed delving into the minds of serial killers. Sociopaths always freak the hell out of me because you can never really know who is one.  This book got under my skin and at one point even gave me goosebumps because of this topic.

Whereas the first book was a complete story with a satisfying ending, Game ends on multiple cliffhangers. It’s almost as if I Hunt Killers is the intro to the two parter Game – Blood of My Blood. I really need the third book yesterday because I desperately need to know what going to happen. The blurb for book three didn’t help much either: “Jazz crosses a line he’s never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: “Like father, like son?” Who is the true monster?” I love characters who are not necessarily good and do very bad things (Her Dark Curiosity, The Monstrumologist series).

Recommended for fans of psychological thrillers and books about serial killers.

Other books in the series: 

I Hunt Killers – Book 1

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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