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?
I started reading I Hunt Killers on the train home this evening, as the train pulled in to London Bridge Station and a young family walked past my seat I heard a little girl say “Mummy, Daddy I want to hunt killers! I… want… to… hunt… killers!” Her parents glanced at me sideways and carried on off the train taking the future detective with them.
I Hunt Killers as one of the best covers I have seen this year, well the American version does anyway, the British edition is not out yet. A black and white dust jacket the only colour provided by spots of blood, the cover itself is splashed with blood outlining a white silhouette lightly splashed with directional splatter, it is a thing of gory beauty to behold.
The true marvel lies within it’s pages, Barry Lyga has crafted a compelling tale of a boy who lives in fear that he may be just like his Dear Old Dad, one of the 21st century’s most prolific and horrific serial killers. Forget Hannibal Lecter and Dexter Morgan, Billy Dent is one of the most terrifying killers I have encountered in literary fictionover the past few years! He is notable by his absence throughout most of the book, but his malevolent influence is felt in every chapter.
Jazz is a likeable and sympathetic protagonist and we see the story unfolding through his eyes and thoughts. He is kept grounded through the loyalty and humour his best friend Howie and his girlfriend Connie – one of the few people who actually calls him out on often melodramatic and obsessive behaviour. The supporting cast is brilliant, his unpleasant grandmother – made worse by her creeping dementia, the town sherriff who captured Billy several years before, a social worker determined to do what is best for Jazxz whether he wants her to or not and a selection of suspects all mesh together perfectly.
I Hunt Killers is a brilliant beginning to what I hope is going to be a series of novels, I want to find out more about Jazz’s childhood and tutelage under Billy, and slowly unwrap the layers of mystery that were only hinted at in the pages of I Hunt Killers.