I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

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Disclaimer:
This review is based on the reading of the advanced reader’s edition of this novel provided by the publisher via NetGalley. The review, in its entirety, is of my own opinion of the novel.

Synopsis:
It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some 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 criminals’ point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo’s Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn’t run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

From acclaimed author Barry Lyga comes a riveting thriller about a teenager trying to control his own destiny in the face of overwhelming odds.

Review:
Jasper Francis Dent, “Jazz” to his friends, is a seventeen year old boy who lives with his grandmother in a town called Lobo’s Nod—a little town where Jasper is a local celebrity for being the son of a serial killer. Jasper’s father, Billy Dent, killed 124 people according to Jasper’s count, and is in a federal prison where he will spend the rest of his life.

This entire novel can be summed up by a single quote in the book from Jasper himself: “if I catch killers, than maybe that means I’m not a killer.” In this novel, Jasper is fighting his conscience and trying to find his own identify as he tries to not follow in his father’s footsteps and become a serial killer himself. He suffers from nightmares about an event involving a knife and the cutting of flesh that he is not sure even happened to him. For a young adult novel there are some pretty descriptive parts involving crimes scenes and a little bit of gore, but they are combined with a little bit of humor, so it sort of downplays the harshness of the events.

There are a string of murders that happen in and around the town of Lobo’s Nod that seem to be imitating the the killings of Billy Dent’s very first victims. The novel is told in two points of view, one is Jasper and the other is the serial killer who is responsible for the killings. The serial killer refers to himself as “The Impressionist.”

Before Billy went into prison, he was teaching Jasper everything that he knew about the craft that he worked on perfecting for decades now: killing. Jasper uses those skills, if you can really call them that, in order to help the local sheriff hunt down the serial killer before it’s too late.

Rating:
I gave this book 4 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. The novel does have a lot of metaphors that I found to be unnecessary as well as overuse of words in italics for emphasis.

To whom would you recommend to read this novel:
I would recommend this book to those who like to read horror or thriller novels or stories involving serial killers. This novel is a little graphic in some parts, especially for a young adult novel, so please keep that in mind before purchase.

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