Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Hunt Killers

Jasper Dent or Jazz lives in the sleepy small town of Lobo's Nod and everybody knows him. It's not an egotistical observation. He is the son of a very prolific and infamous serial killer. His childhood was filled with crime scenes, murder victims, and the sick training of his father. Now, he works to go against his father's teachings and clings to things that are normal. Then a girl is found murdered in a field, extremely similar to his father's own first murder. And the bodies start piling up and of course people look to Jazz. Can he figure out who the real copycat murderer is and clear his name?

I love books about serial killers. I find their mentality morbidly fascinating and the books are usually delightfully twisted. I Hunt Killers looks into the nature vs. nurture debate on how serial killers are made the way they are. Jazz has obviously been nurtured practically to death to be a serial killer. His instincts are automatic to recognize people's weaknesses and he recognizes how to exploit them. He knows that he's attractive and uses it to his advantage when he can. His father has been in jail for quite some time, but people still see his father and the crimes when they see Jazz. He knows they fully expect him to be just like his father. However, he works against his own instincts. When he recognizes weakness, he doesn't always try to exploit it to the fullest and obviously hasn't killed anyone yet. He keeps close to his best friend Howie, a nerdy hemophiliac, and his no nonsense girlfriend Connie. They bring normalcy to his life and make sure he doesn't go down that serial killer path. He battles with his inner self constantly and it's a really fascinating read.

One of the best things about the book is that, like Rick Yancy's The Monstrumologist, it doesn't shy away from it's own subject matter: murder. Other YA novels tend to try to protect the reader because of the age group it's aimed at, but this one makes no effort to do so. The events are described in detail and Barry Lyga doesn't pull any punches. If you can't handle pretty gory accounts of horrific murders, turn back now. I appreciate that some YA books are super gory and graphic while others aren't, so people can choose for their comfort level. Despite the dark tone and subject matter, the book is actually very funny. Jazz's narrative is full of humor (mostly dark), making me laugh throughout the grisly plot.

I only had one problem with the book. His involvement with the police is a little unbelievable. At first, the police keep him out as they should because he's a high school student, but after the police get really desperate, they allow him to explore the crime scenes and involve him in the investigation. It's the only kind of meh part of a good book, so I overlooked it. I would definitely recommend this to teen and adult horror fans.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

No comments: