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Saturday, August 24, 2013
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?



Review: I Hunt Killers is a well-characterized and suspenseful YA thriller. The hero, Jasper Dent, is dynamic and compelling as he strives not only to discover the identity of the latest killer in Lobo's Nod but to hold on to his humanity despite the shadow of his father's influence. Jasper's struggle is psychologically interesting, as he feels both nature and nurture work against him: his upbringing and his complicity in his father's crimes as well as the mental illness that runs through the Dent family. 

Luckily Jasper has a cast of well-developed characters to back him up and keep him from falling back on his father's sociopathic tendencies. Notables include Connie, Jasper's girlfriend, who's African American, enjoys acting, does not indulge Jasper's crap or self-loathing, and is awesome. There's also his Howie, a hemophiliac who's always ready with a joke and will back Jasper up as long as he agrees to receiving a tattoo of Howie's choice. Rounding out the cast is Sheriff G. William Tanner, the man responsible for arresting Jasper's father, Billy Dent. And of course there's Billy Dent himself, a genius serial killer whose facade is a good ol' country guy but who can get inside a person's head faster than you can say "Hannibal Lecter". 

The suspense builds as the body count rises and the characters are placed in danger, it's a fast read. One thing I liked was that the book sold me on the premise, a teenager hunting serial killers could stretch how far a reader is willing to suspend disbelief, but given the background provided for Jasper the story works. All in all a great YA thriller. Recommended for those who enjoy YA novels and thrillers along the lines of the TV show Criminal Minds.

Five out of five crime scenes.

N.B. The novel might not be for everyone due to gore and violence, including sexual violence. This does not take place on page but is referred to. There is also violence towards animals, specifically a dog.

4 comments:

timewantsaskeleton said...

Interesting! I never heard of a YA book with a premise like that!

Amy said...

I am obsessed with shows like Criminal Minds, and I always wonder about the murderer's family. Like, what do their parents think or their wife? I know I'll have to pick this up!

Jaime said...

Yeah, it's usually an adult fiction premise. There's also a YA novel coming out next spring from Harper Collins about a teen girl who's a vigilante killer ala Dexter. It's called Dear Killer. Maybe there's a trend starting.

Jaime said...

Great! Yeah I loved Criminal Minds, though I stopped watching around the time Prentiss faked her death or whatever was going on. The episodes with the trainee who's father was a killer is one I remember. You'll enjoy this!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

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?



Review: I Hunt Killers is a well-characterized and suspenseful YA thriller. The hero, Jasper Dent, is dynamic and compelling as he strives not only to discover the identity of the latest killer in Lobo's Nod but to hold on to his humanity despite the shadow of his father's influence. Jasper's struggle is psychologically interesting, as he feels both nature and nurture work against him: his upbringing and his complicity in his father's crimes as well as the mental illness that runs through the Dent family. 

Luckily Jasper has a cast of well-developed characters to back him up and keep him from falling back on his father's sociopathic tendencies. Notables include Connie, Jasper's girlfriend, who's African American, enjoys acting, does not indulge Jasper's crap or self-loathing, and is awesome. There's also his Howie, a hemophiliac who's always ready with a joke and will back Jasper up as long as he agrees to receiving a tattoo of Howie's choice. Rounding out the cast is Sheriff G. William Tanner, the man responsible for arresting Jasper's father, Billy Dent. And of course there's Billy Dent himself, a genius serial killer whose facade is a good ol' country guy but who can get inside a person's head faster than you can say "Hannibal Lecter". 

The suspense builds as the body count rises and the characters are placed in danger, it's a fast read. One thing I liked was that the book sold me on the premise, a teenager hunting serial killers could stretch how far a reader is willing to suspend disbelief, but given the background provided for Jasper the story works. All in all a great YA thriller. Recommended for those who enjoy YA novels and thrillers along the lines of the TV show Criminal Minds.

Five out of five crime scenes.

N.B. The novel might not be for everyone due to gore and violence, including sexual violence. This does not take place on page but is referred to. There is also violence towards animals, specifically a dog.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting! I never heard of a YA book with a premise like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's usually an adult fiction premise. There's also a YA novel coming out next spring from Harper Collins about a teen girl who's a vigilante killer ala Dexter. It's called Dear Killer. Maybe there's a trend starting.

      Delete
  2. I am obsessed with shows like Criminal Minds, and I always wonder about the murderer's family. Like, what do their parents think or their wife? I know I'll have to pick this up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! Yeah I loved Criminal Minds, though I stopped watching around the time Prentiss faked her death or whatever was going on. The episodes with the trainee who's father was a killer is one I remember. You'll enjoy this!

      Delete

Thank you, comments are appreciated :)