Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: April 3rd 2012
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Series: Jasper Dent #1
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?
Wow this book knocked me unto my butt. I want to start off my review with a disclaimer, this book has some pretty morbid things and I would not recommend for younger teens or those with a sensitive mind. With that said, this book blew me away.
The book interested me but I was not prepared for it to dig deep inside of my mind.
This story is about the son of a serial killer, a very sadistic (not that they all aren’t) serial killer. Not only did Jasper’s father torture and kill, he did it with an audience and with lessons. Jasper knew what his dad did, watched him do it, and lived with it for years. His memories lead him back till he was 6 years old and his father was caught when Jasper was 13. That is seven years of evil.
Now Jasper is 17 and lives with his crazy grandmother, has a best friend, a girlfriend, and a kind of mentor in the sheriff. He spends his days at school, taking care of his grandmother, and trying to stay out of the eyes of the social worker determined to send him somewhere else to live. I am not so sure I would think the home of the mother of the serial killer would be the best to put a boy in… but that is what happened.
The story starts off with a body found and Jasper is sure it is the works of a serial killer and believes more bodies will be found. The Sheriff doubts him and has to see it as a onetime murder when it’s only one body. Jasper determined to stop more bodies from showing up, starts to investigate and finds himself in a little deeper than what he expected.
The characters are amazing in this story. It had very well developed and very likable or very hated characters. Jasper is sarcastic, kind, and very determined not to end up like his dad. He has a lot of evil locked into his brain and does what he can to keep it from surfacing. The only thing that bugged me a little about Jasper is the fear of becoming his dead really ran his life. I guess I can understand, well as much as possible, witnessing such evil as a child can really make you crazy and insecure.
His best friend was by far my favorite character. A big guy with a soft heart and completely loyal to Jasper, He will do just about anything for Jasper. He knew Jasper before his dad was caught and went to prison, yet he never judge Jasper for it and stuck by him. Jasper’s girlfriend is also very loyal. She moved to the town after it all went down, and knowing what she knew she still found Jasper lovable. What I love about her is that fact that she knows Jasper so well; she has no worries about murderous tendencies within him.
She sheriff is pretty awesome too. It did take me a while to decide… likable or not…. Only because I wanted to slap him for not believing Jasper about the crime being of a serial killer! I loved the fact how he kind of looked out for Jasper and took him in under his wing. Jasper tends to do stupid things, and the sheriff seems to always be bailing him out. Good stuff.
Ok now for the too hated characters. Jasper’s grandmother is a pure nut case. I guess that should be expected she raised a serial killer. When she is sane and knows what world she lives in she has very cruel tongue. She tears down Jasper, talks bad about his mother, and blames everyone else for her son going off the deep end. The times that she is not sane, she is just hilarious. She had me cracking up so many times throughout the book. It was a love/hate relationship.
Jasper’s father is just pure evil and with every memory and every word from his mouth you wish death upon him in a very cruel way. I felt I was in a very evil mind and sometimes it was hard to get out. It did haunt me. The author did an exceptional job on this character and I cannot imagine what it was like to write him.
So the character development just amazing and that brought a good story to brilliant, but I don’t want to take away from the story. The plot was great, well thought out, thrilling, and had me guessing the entire time. It was very exciting with many twists, and I was stunned at the end.
So if you want a short walk on the dark side, pick this book up. I am biting my fingernails waiting for the next installment and will be picking it up as soon as it is available to read.