Title: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
My Rating: 5/5
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? (Summary from Goodreads)
You know what the sign of a scary book is? When you read twenty-five pages - count em' twenty-five - and you have frightening serial killer nightmares. Barry Lyga, you won. Your book terrified me. And I loved every petrifying bit of it.
I'm a scared-y cat, a sleep-with-a-night-light, jump-at-every-sound, honest to goodness scared-y cat. But something really drew me to I Hunt Killers. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I needed to read it. When I finally got up the courage to start it, I was hooked. The mystery behind the killings and the need to know just exactly what was happening kept me flipping the pages, while cringing at every disturbing detail.
This book has no shortage of horror. I know I may be easily scared, but I can guarantee even fear-mongers will be looking over their shoulders after this one. Barry Lyga obviously did his research because he created one heck of a serial killer in Billy Dent. He also created one amazing character in his son and narrator, Jazz Dent. Although Jazz is, no doubt, a scary teenager, he's also got a lovable side to him. I couldn't help but adore his charm, strength, and ferocity to make more of himself than what he was raised to be. I love a hero with a dark side. It always makes me cheer for them that much more. I also loved the side characters in I Hunt Killers. They brought a light side to this shadowed tale, but were also willing to walk in the dark to help out a friend.
One of the things that was so impressive about this book was the intricacy of the mystery. There were so many different aspects to it, but Lyga managed to piece it all together with clarity, all the while keeping the reader guessing about who the killer was. Every gruesome detail, while disturbing, had meaning and purpose all leading up to the unveiling of the killer. I will admit, I didn't guess the ending. I had no idea who the killer was, which made the reveal all the better.
I Hunt Killers left off with so much potential for the sequel, and I cannot wait to find out where it goes. This isn't a series for the faint-of-heart (which makes it odd that I love it) but if you can get passed (or enjoy) the blood and gore you're going to find a story with passion, great characters, and enough fright to keep you up well passed midnight.
Update: after finishing this review last night, I proceeded to have nightmares about being attacked. I blame this book...and Barry Lyga.
- Ciara who is lost at midnight
Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Barry Lyga's Website