Review: I Hunt Killers

Author: Barry Lyga
Date of Publication: April 3, 2012
Pages: 359
Source: Library

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?

This is far from the kind of book I would usually pick. I read about these kinds of books, nod my head in approval and then pass because I know that I’d be scared mindless if I actually read them. See, I’m the kind of person who still lifts her legs up because she has the scary sensation of something being under the bed at night. Hence, it really takes guts for me to invest my time, especially nighttime, to read these kinds of stories. But what can I say, I had to.

Right off the bat, my initial reaction to the synopsis and even the first few chapters of this book was Criminal Minds and Spencer Reid, my favourite character in the show. I love the idea of getting into a criminal's mind in order to stop them (theoretically, realistically it’s quite a scary business). This book fed that craving. There was lots of jargon thrown about but never in a way that wasn't understandable. I could visualize the crime scenes pretty vividly to my horror. 

Jazz our protagonist started out as a very excited and naive young man who happens to have a little too much insight into the mind of a serial killer all thanks to dear old dad. I enjoyed reading about him and his struggle with himself and self identification. Is he his father’s son or is he his own person? When a new murderer springs up in town, Jazz sees it as an opportunity to show his skills because of course he knows better, but also to come into himself whether that be a sociopath or a normal person.

Can I also give a shoutout to diversity in a small town done well? For all I could gather, Lobo’s Nod sounds like a small red neck town in the middle of no where but somewhere in America. And then comes in the most amazing female black character ever! (Not to mention she is one of only a handful that I’ve ever read.) Jazz’s girlfriend Connie was simply magnificent. So strong and courageous. Her and Jazz’s best friend hemophiliac Howie were two of the best supporting characters. They stood by their friend despite his horrible upbringing, relatives and the towns opinion.

Whenever I come across a male perspective, I always find it quite refreshing. As females we have quite a wide array of books in YA directed straight at us and so we never really have to leave our comfort zone of female narrators but every now and then it’s nice to peak into the other sex’s head. Jazz I thought was an impeccable reimagination of what exists in a young boys head. He was rash, thought he always knew best and he was reckless. But he was also young, naive and in love. My favourite thing was seeing how much more on the move guys are compared to us girls. Jazz would cite an opinion or plan and next minute he would be out doing the deed. Us girls, like to ponder another ten minutes, or at least I do.

Overall, a fantastical read. I read it on the bus so I’m sure many other passengers enjoyed looking at my facial expressions as I gasped at the gory descriptions. To the faint hearted, beware that this book is indeed about serial killers and gory deaths. If you cannot sit through a Criminal Minds episode than this is not for you. As for the entertainment value, this one is a big winner.



  1. I usually avoid scary stuff too, but I absolutely loved this series! I always recommend it to boys and to anyone looking for something a little edgy and scary (and to Dexter fans, of course, though most of my teens don't seem to know much about Dexter).

    1. This series just calls to me. I love how easy it was to get into. Usually, I get turned off pretty quickly but this one held my attention and I'm pretty grateful for that. I think Dexter is a great comparison, I haven't watched it but from what I've heard it sounds quite spot on :)


  2. Love these books. I've read the second one and am trying to find time for the third! Great review.

    1. I'm also super excited to read the sequels! This series is sure to keep me on the edge of my seat :)



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