Tuesday, May 8, 2012
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Released: April 3, 2012
Page #: 361
Source: My public library
"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 criminal's 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?
"By the time Jazz got to the field outside town, yellow police tape was everywhere, strung from stake to stake in a sort of drunken, off-kilter hexagon."
This book was waaaayyy more than I was bargaining for. It was creepy. It was hilarious. It was sad. It was freaky. It was intense. And so much more. I was not prepared, I will say that.
Jazz is the son of a serial killer. His father spent his days teaching his son about the trade. Giving him pointers, helping him get started, etc. But now that his dad is behind bars, Jazz is trying to figure out who he is and what kind of person he's going to be. He fights the instinct to think of everyone as a prospect - a victim. Luckily, he has a couple of good friends who are able to talk him through things. Now that more murders are happening in their small town, Jazz feels like he needs to solve them because he has insider info. Well, that and it keeps the police from thinking he's following in his father's footsteps.
Serial killers are fascinating. That's just a fact. People write whole biographies on them just because it's interesting to see how their minds work - how they see the world. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have one for a parent. I guess that's why this book is so crazy. A teenage boy worrying more about whether he has the genes to kill - instead of thinking about parties, homework, and girls (to an extent and not in that order).
While this book has the potential to be the heaviest book ever - it's got some series comedy. Howie, Jazz's best friend... who is a hemophiliac... completely balances out the story. He's spent his life tiptoe-ing around and has learned that humor is the best medicine. I pretty much loved all of his quips and his attitude and his outlook on life. I'm pretty sure Howie was my favorite character. There's also Jazz's girlfriend, Connie. He's started to tell her all of his thoughts and worries and dreams and fears - and she still stands beside him. I think that's amazing... I can only imagine how many other girls would take it.
This story is also a mystery - there have been murders starting again in their small town and Jazz is out to catch the killer. He's got the skills, the knowledge, and the drive to find out what's happening. Even if it puts him and his friends in harms way. Oh! And his grandmother! I can't believe I forgot... she was hilarious! Well, unintentionally. She's basically senile. And Jazz lives with her. There's the dynamic of her having a serial killer son - and then totally losing reality altogether. But there are some amazing things that come out of her mouth. So watch out! :)
I will say that this book is super gory and a bit explicit. We're talking, very specific descriptions of murder scenes... or things from Jazz's memory. It was a little more than I was anticipating, but it really makes the story that much more edgy and believable. But be aware! Not for the faint of heart! Or the faint at the thought of blood-ers. Lyga is good at taking difficult subjects and turning them into heartfelt stories. Definitely something I admire.
If you're into real life horror stories, then definitely give this book a shot. It's probably one of those niche books. Not everyone is going to love it - but it's so well written that they just might! I'll definitely recommend it on to those readers who love a good mystery or scary story. Though, probably high school only. Wouldn't wanna scare the kiddies :). Seriously, I had trouble reading this book at nighttime. My imagination is way too good sometimes! So yeah, read with caution!
Other Blog Reviews:
Death Books and Tea
Tales of the Ravenous Reader
Anette's Book Spot
Once Upon a Twilight!
The Fake Steph Dot Com
Emilie's Book World
Brittany the Book Slayer
Katie's Book Blog
Lovely Treez Reads