Published by Brown Young Readers on 16 April 2013
Source: Purchased e-book
I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jasper (Jazz) Dent, the son of the world's most infamous serial killer.
When a desperate New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help with a new case, Jazz can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple--and its police force running scared with no leads. So Jazz and his girlfriend Connie hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game.
Meanwhile, Jazz's dad Billy is watching...and waiting.
Thoughts: I probably should have been more creeped out than I was. This book has multiple serial killers who are violent and sadistic. Their crimes are described in gruesome detail, although often after the fact, which allowed for some needed distance between the reader and the crimes. As far as thrillers featuring serial killers, Lyga nails it again. Even though it is totally readable, this is not watered down YA.
While I enjoyed the thriller and mystery aspects enough to suspend my disbelief about the NYPD asking a 17 year old to consult, what I really love about this series is the psychological drama. Jazz is such an interesting character. I love that he struggles with his past and his present. He wants to be a good person so badly, but he’s constantly afraid of turning into a serial killer. What really interested me during this book was extensive periods in his girlfriend’s head. Connie loves Jazz and she’s one of the few people who really knows him. Although Connie occasionally annoyed me, I really loved the perspective she brought to the story.
I also really loved the juxtaposition of G. Williams, the local sheriff, with Dear Old Dad. For me, they are two of the most well-drawn characters in the book and they both represent a competing side of Jazz. I honestly found Jazz’s Dad, Billy Dent, charming even though I know he is a serial killer. I hope that was the point, because that confession scares me more than any of the violence in this book. Even knowing everything that Billy had done, I loved him whenever he stepped on the page. He is much more likeable than any of the new characters we meet in New York or even Howie, Jazz’s best friend and someone I would consider a main character.
The only thing that did not work for me was the end. I do not think that this next part is a spoiler, but this is fair warning for the particularly spoilerphobic. This book ended with all three of the main characters facing certain death in separate situations. It didn’t feel like a cliffhanger so much as that the book just ended at an arbitrary point. I am so annoyed that I am tempted to just believe that the characters are dead and the book ended in the way that it did to spare me the heart break of watching them die. In actuality, I will be over my negative feelings as soon as I get my hands on a copy of book three.
Favorite Moments: When Jazz figured out the Hat-Dog killer.
WTF Moments: How it ended.
Overall: I really enjoyed this sequel, right up to the end when I was left with three different cliffhangers.
This post is part of Bloggers Dressed In Blood, where we celebrate the dark and twisted all through the month of October. I co-host with Kate aka Midnight Book Girl and Danielle from Mercurial Musings. This year we are giving away a $50 dollar gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (or 3 books of choice up to US$50 from TBD for international readers). Check out the main page to get more information and join in the fun! For those looking for the secret code it is: grapefruit spoon.