Friday, February 6, 2015

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Book Blurb: 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. My Review: 5 Out of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery, Teen Jasper was raised by his father Billy, who just so happens to be the most infamous serial killer in the country. Billy is currently behind bars for his crimes and Jasper is trying to be a regular person who just so happens to know a little too much about the human body, death and manipulation. When a body is found in his small home town, Jasper has a feeling that a new serial killer is on the loose, but nobody believes him. Jasper decides to get to the truth regardless of the consequences. Oh My God, I love this book! I thought the premise sounded really interesting, kind of like a young Dexter, so I was intrigued enough to pick it up. And then I just could not put it down. Disclaimer, this story is not for the light fluffy readers. The story is really dark, dealing with murder, torture and rape. It does go into details of Billy’s crimes as well as the current murder Jasper is trying to solve. Also, this book is a psychological conundrum as well. The story is listed as teen fiction, but it is definitely geared for the older reader. I blew through the book and really want to read the other two in the series now. The story was predominantly told from Jasper’s point of view, but at times would switch to the killer and the victim’s point of view. I loved how Jasper struggled throughout the book trying to determine how much like Billy he really was. He could not tell if he had normal feelings or if he pretended to be normal. How messed up must someone be if they can’t tell if they are pretending at being human or not. He has compulsions to do bad behavior, or to just think of bad behavior and he doesn’t know if other people do that to. He is a master of reading people and assimilating, but is that just a front? I loved the fact Jasper is not sure if he is a sociopath and I really have no idea either. This is strange, because I rooted for him, which I usually only do for characters that I bond with emotionally. The author did an amazing job of creating this complex, disturbed boy who I still felt compassion for, even when he himself only faked compassion. I also enjoyed the dynamics of Jaspers relationships, be it with his best friend Howie, who is the most breakable boy ever, and his girlfriend, who is the opposite of all Billy’s victims. He chose two people who he should not be close to, yet clings to them because they bring him humanity. Even the way he played his social worker was a strange relationship where he tried to get his way but she pushed him regardless. I was surprised how much I loved this story and Jasper and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, especially with how the ending panned out. There was a pretty good mystery here as well, but predominately I would call this a thriller. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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