Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released April 3, 2012
368 pages
Where I got it: ARC received from publisher at ALA Midwinter
Rating: ★★★★☆

Description from 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?

I love books with serial killers, especially those that give us a look inside their minds. A couple of examples are The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, or the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. Those are books that are written for, and marketed to, adults. Now, there’s a great option for those who love to read YA fiction. I Hunt Killers delivers on all of the gritty murder scene details, crime scene investigation, and psychological motivations of serial killers, while also providing the perspective of a teenage boy. Sound good? It is.

Jazz is obsessed with serial killers, because his father is the most infamous serial killer in American history, and had been grooming Jazz to surpass even him. Jazz is constantly searching for validation that he won’t become like his father, although he gets urges. Instead, Jazz focuses his need hunt another person on the new serial killer in town.

Lyga doesn’t hold back on the details. It’s all here, from the violence and even rape involved in the killing to the basic postmortem procedures, like autopsy. Teen readers won’t feel cheated out of this information, and the book doesn’t talk down to the YA audience. Instead, the YA focus comes from Jazz’s age, his development of self-identity, and his interactions with his friends and authority figures in his life.

I Hunt Killers was just lighthearted enough to not be strangely morbid, but also not bogged down by the horror at play. This book will be popular with those who love reading about Dexter, or just like a good dark mystery thriller.

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2 Responses to Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

  1. I love Dexter, but I don’t know if I can read this. I scare very easy. I’ll have to think about this one.

  2. tnx 4 the review
    the cover is so bloody awesome lol

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