I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Published on 3 April 2012
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
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 Review: 4 Jazz Stars!
Are you a fan Dexter? Criminal Minds? CSI? If you are you HAVE to read this book! If you are not, let me convince you right now.
Jazz has an unfortunate set of circumstances, he is the son of a notorious serial killer, living in the same town in which his dad was caught, and taking care of his dementia ridden grandmother. Every time he looks in the mirror he has to convince himself he is NOT a killer like his father. Jazz fears he will become just like Dear Old Dad and take over the family business. We are in the mind of Jazz through his whole journey and we see how off kilter he is. How can you be normal when your dad has basically groomed you into the perfect serial killer since you could walk and talk?
Jazz has insight into the mind of a serial killer...a good one at that as his father evaded capture for many years. It is that second sense, that ingrained nature that allows him to see more to the surprisingly murder and body dump of a youngster in little Lobo's Nod. Jazz knows that this one murder will become two, then three and so on. Now all he has to do is convince the police to let him help and try to stop a serial killer before he wrecks havoc in Lobo's Nod or worse disappears before being caught.
For a serious and dark subject matter, the book was not at all gruesome. It is suspenseful and intense, but in the ''I can't put this book down!" way. I found the grandmother so loony she was comical to the point of sadness. Jazz's best friend was the much needed comic relief to add some lightness to the otherwise heavy story. Jazz even has a spit-fire of a girlfriend to keep him in line.
Although I found the whole 'serial killer on the loose' story line to be captivating. My favorite parts of the book were the internal dialogue Jazz has with himself. The internal fight within to stay on the side of good. To use what he has been taught to catch killers. To always remember his dad's victims even though he is not responsible, he needs that link to feel human and compassionate. That all he really wants is to know what happened to his mother. All he desires is a chance at a normal life. I Hunt Killers is by far one of the best young adult books I've read this year.