Book Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent) by Barry Lyga

Posted February 4, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in 2016 Horror Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent) by Barry LygaI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent, #1
on April 3rd 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Boys & Men, Family, General
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
ISBN: 9780316201742
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

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.

I had seen I Hunt Killers around Goodreads a lot last year, and have been wanting to read it for a while. Though it was different than I expected, I found myself immersed in the weird life of Jasper Dent, son of notorious serial killer Billy Dent. In I Hunt Killers, Barry Lyga introduces readers to a young man haunted by memories of his horrific upbringing and poor memory. Trying to fit in and live life as a “normal” teenaged boy, Jasper feels compelled to help police when it appears another serial killer is murdering people in his small town.

“You won’t even know you’ve crossed the line until it’s way back in your rearview mirror.”

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Jasper is whether or not he’s a hero or a villain. As the son of a notorious serial killer, Jasper has been brainwashed by the best. Is he the traumatized child of a murderer? Or is Jasper the biggest con artist of them all? That’s the questions readers ask themselves while delving deeper into this mystery. Jasper is a great character, but as he reminds us, most killers are charming. Thanks to his spotty memory, could Jasper Dent be the town’s new serial killer? I won’t spoil that for you, but killer or not, there’s more to Jasper Dent than meets the eye.

“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 is joined on this killer hunt by his best friend Howie, and his girlfriend Connie. Howie is kind of weird, but lovable, and adds a lot of humor to some unfunny scenes. Connie, is a bit of an enigma. Apparently she’s one of the few (only?) African-American people in town, dating the son of a serial killer, and can’t hang at her boyfriend’s house because of his crazy, racist grandma. She seems pretty smart, but I still haven’t figured out what attracts her to Jasper.

I Hunt Killers is the first in Lyga’s Jasper Dent series. It took me a while to get into Jasper’s head as he’s a bit weird, but once I got used to his voice I was hooked. The murder scenes were suspenseful, and gory. Kind of like a YA version of The Silence of the Lambs. If you’re interested in a good mystery with quirky, small town folks, than this is definitely worth checking out. I, for one, will definitely be checking out the sequel.

About Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he’s also a “YA rebel-author.” Somehow, the two just don’t seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wouldn’t you?

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl is his first novel. Unsoul’d is his latest. There are a whole bunch in between, featuring everything from the aftermath of child abuse to pre-teens with superpowers to serial killers. He clearly does not know how to stick to one subject.


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