Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on July 23, 2012 | 2 Comments

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry LygaI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Published by Little Brown (4.3.2012)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 359 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

3.5 Stars

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?

My thoughts

This was a step outside of my usual circle of genres for me. I like forensic stuff and I’m a huge fan of the show Dexter, but this was the first thriller/murder mystery I’ve ever read (unless you count Deadly Cool, which I don’t). Like a typical crime scene setup, there were some gruesome scenes in this book – so if you’re really squeamish, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Those scenes didn’t exactly go into depth and detail and they weren’t drawn out, but there was enough stated graphically to leave the nasty stuff to your imagination. Which, as you know, can be worse.

I felt for Jasper. It was clear how damaged he was after growing up with serial killer Billy Dent. Sure, he was messed up, but he did a fantastic job of trying to make up for his childhood and to fit in. Yet while I understand why he was worried about following the footsteps of Dear Old Dad, it got a little annoying in the first half when he continuously (like, every other page) made a statement about it. How everyone will look at him and see Billy. How he’s doomed to be exactly the same. Yet constantly denying it. Okay, we get it. You’re worried. But how ’bout focusing on things you can do to not be like him? The repetition was a bit of a downer for me in the beginning.

Although I didn’t figure out who the killer was until almost right before the identity was revealed, it wasn’t really surprising. And honestly, I should have figured it out because it was so obvious, but I was too focused on a different person – damn Dexter for getting stuck in my brain!

I’m not entirely sure this is a genre I’d pick up in the future. I like watching the shows, but reading about it just didn’t work for me for some reason. I just have an overall feeling of ‘meh’ about reading this subject, and I think that really hindered my enjoyment of this book. But, even with that being said, I think I’ll still pick up book 2 to find out where it goes, because this one left the ending WIDE OPEN. Curiosity killed the cat, you know.  

Favorite character: Howie, Jazz’s hemophiliac best friend and the comic relief. The few times I did laugh were mainly due to him!
Plot: 4/5
Writing style: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
I didn’t really get into it until the second body was found.
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5 starfish
If you enjoy reading murder mysteries, you’re going to love it.
Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

  1. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile. I’m not sure if I would get annoyed by all of the reminders of how people will see his father when they look at him. It does seem like it would get annoying. I’ll have to think about it before I buy this one.
    Thanks for the review:)

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