I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Release Date: 4/3/2012
Length: 361 pages
Source: Audiobook
Rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
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?

"Jazz hadn't given her many details of exactly what life in the Dent house had been like, but he'd told her enough that she knew it wasn't hearts and flowers. Well, except for the occasional heart cut from a chest. And the kind of flowers you send to funerals."

Jasper Dent (Jazz) has been groomed to follow in his father's footsteps as the world's most notorious serial killer. He was taught to charm, capture and kill without notice. He was taught that people don't matter. But ever since his father was locked up 4 years ago, Jazz has been trying to fight his father's voice in his head and his dark instincts that sometimes surface. He doesn't trust himself because he hasn't convinced himself he's not a killer. He really doesn't know. This nature vs nurture battle is really what carries the internal dialogue of the story.

"It's not that I want to or don't want to. It's just... I can. I imagine it's like being a great runner. If you knew you could run really fast, would you? If you were stuck walking somewhere, wouldn't you want to let loose and run like hell? That's how I feel."

I Hunt Killers has a strong idea and good writing but what makes it really stand out are the characters. Jazz is a pretty hilarious narrator and he lightens the mood of the sinister plot. 

"'Making a duplicate key from a wax impression was an extremely useful skill to have if you were the sort of person who liked invading other people's homes and killing them.'"

"'What if the whole thing was just an accident?'" 
"'And what? Accidentally cut off three fingers postmortem? 'Oops, of no, my girlfriend just died! Clumsy me, in trying to perform CPR, I chopped off some fingers! Guess I'll take them with me... Oh, darn, where did that middle finger go?'"

And I just love his best friend Howie, whom Jazz often ropes into his charades to catch the serial killer running around Lobo's Nod.

"'There's a little-known corollary to bros before hos, which states that if Bro One is terrified because Bro Two's girlfriend can make his nose bleed just by looking at him the wrong way, he's allowed to put hos before bros. I chose to implement that corollary because your girlfriend is a total badass.'"

Another element I really liked was the brief changes in perspective to the serial killer Jazz was after, the one that was impersonating Billy Dent's crimes. I really liked the following quote from his POV...

"He thought for a moment. About puppets. About being controlled. Everyone was controlled by something, the Impressionist knew. By a spouse. A parent. A boss. A firned. By one's own impulses, be they dark or light. Everyone was a puppet to something. Most people just couldn't see the strings, is all. And so they didn't believe they were puppets in the first place. The Impressionist could see his strings. He knew how long they were. He knew their tensile strength. How much slack they had. He knew who pulled them. But he wondered. He wondered about a puppet that can see its strings. He wondered... What if a puppet could cut its own strings."

So although this book can be gory and violent it is also light-hearted and charming. The characters really make this story into something more. I am really really looking forward to  the next in series. The ending of the book promised some good things to come.

1 comment:

  1. This book was filled with action and adventure. It had me on the edge of my seat. It was so good and I've read ALOT if crime books but this one is the best. You will never guess who the impressionist is....

    Micky Johnson (Dallas Search Engine Optimization)


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