Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Hunt Killers: A Review

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?

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2012
Source: Library

Genre: Psychological/Straight Up Thriller, Boy Protagonist, Son of a Psycho Killer, Contemporary YA mystery

Cover: I actually couldn’t really think of a more fitting cover for the book. Good enough, no complaints.

Plot: This book is pretty much a mystery, of the who-done-it/who-is-doing-it variety. Jazz is cute in a non-obnoxious way, and we watch him deal with the aftermath of being known as a killer’s son. What makes that more interesting is that there’s a new killer in town who reminds the town of Jazz and Jazz’s “Dear Old Dad.” Throughout, Jazz has fragmented flashbacks suited to be fleshed out in a follow-up novel. But all the while, we’re following Jazz as he follows a killer, with his girlfriend and best friend at his side. As a side note, it was interesting to see the father-son dynamics in this book as well. Jazz and his father. Jazz and G. Williams. Interesting stuff. Male bonding as well, with Jazz and his hemophiliac best friend and partner in crime, Howie. 

Romantic Element: Jazz and his girlfriend Connie are refreshing. FINALLY we have a YA with a mixed race couple without it being such a blown up deal. Jazz is white; Connie’s African American, and other then mentioning her cornrows, somewhat frequently, there isn’t that much attention drawn to it. Yay for not so forced diversity, anyone? No, there’s no slow burns or build-ups, in case you were wondering, but again, this isn’t the kind of book that would make sense with that. 

Overall: I think I liked it. It was different. It was brutal (No PG here, moms). The murders are fairly graphic and intense, though we are dealing with the aftermath of looking at crime scenes…mostly. I will say though, and this is weird, the infrequent chapters from the perspective of the killer didn’t thrill me as much as Jazz’s chapters with his “Dear Old Dad,” and I was surprised by that. But overall, yay for Lyga giving us a legitimate YA, gritty horror-ish thriller. I’m wondering why I hadn’t heard of it until I stumbled upon it. Hmmm…that situation should be rectified. 

And as a super side note, this book’s method of giving the occasional voice to the bad guy reminded me of a favorite of mine, Robert Cormier’s We All Fall Down, which pretty much blew my mind and made me cry when I first read it as a youngster. 

Okay…Now I’m done. :) 

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. Because I can.

1 comment:

  1. I don't usually read any kind of horror, but this one sounds fascinating! I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the review!