Author: Barry Lyga
Violence, Gore, Language, Adult Situations
I love the concept for I Hunt Killers. It's somewhat reminiscent of the TV show Dexter, what with a kid being taught from an early age the best methods of brutally murdering a person without getting caught. In both cases, the protagonist struggles mightily against the monster within them. Barry Lyga did a fantastic job of keeping me in suspense about whether or not Jasper "Jazz" Dent would be able to keep his own demon at bay. He made me feel Jazz' agony about the horrors he had seen as well as the paralyzing fear of what he might become as a result.
As far as Jazz' father, Billy Dent is one of the more terrifying characters I've encountered, even if he is largely absent, appearing mainly in dreams, flashbacks, and discussion of his past crimes. The other primary characters, Sheriff G. William Tanner, friends Howie and Connie, The Impressionist, and Gramma are all well rounded, realistic characters who add depth to the story of Jazz' struggles to hunt down a serial killer and avoid becoming one himself. Lyga also includes enough potentially shady secondary characters to keep you guessing about the true identity of the latest monster to unleash a reign of terror on the small town of Lobo's Nod.
Realistic details of crime scene investigation and human physiology add even more realism to this dark tale which is part murder mystery, part psychological thriller, and all around great read. I would just like to include this one reader's advisory: Reading this book is likely to cause you a lot of sleepless nights, either through fear of nightmares involving serial killer Billy Dent or Christmas Eve style anticipation of the sequel which Santa Lyga currently has scheduled to deliver through your chimney in Spring 2013.