Book Reviews

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

*Originally posted on Southern Bred, Southern Read Blog 10/11/14*

I wanted a creepy, thriller type book to read since it’s October and that’s just what you’re supposed to do when Halloween is approaching. I’ve seen this book in Barnes and Noble and on Instagram for a while, but never really gave it much thought. I decided to go and ahead pick it up a few days ago because it had semi good reviews on Goodreads.

Well, this book was…. interesting. The story follows Jazz who is the son of the country’s most famous serial killer, Billy Dent. Jazz, his girlfriend Connie, and his hemophiliac best friend Howie live in a small town that was rocked by the news of Billy Dent four years ago. Since then Jazz has just wanted a normal life. He wants to prove to the world that he isn’t like his dad and isn’t destined to become like him. He blends into the background and just tries to fly under the radar in life. It isn’t until a body shows up in a field outside of town that Jazz becomes obsessed with finding the killer. He has a close relationship with the sheriff, G. William Tanner, who arrested his dad and is still the sheriff in town. G. William does everything he can to keep Jazz away from the crime scene, but Jazz is sure that this isn’t a one time thing. He believes this is the start of a serial killer. The rest of the book follows him and his friends as more bodies turn up. The whole town starts looking at him as a suspect, so it’s one more reason for him to prove that a serial killer is out there.

The book is slightly predictable. I figured it was going to end one of three ways, and it did.. sort of (there is a small twist). *SPOILER* I kind of wish the book was going to have a huge twist where Jazz was the one committing the murders all along, but unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as surprising as that would have been. The plot drags through the midsection and you find yourself wanting more and more information. The author gives you little bits and pieces here and there, but ultimately he left a lot of info open for the next few books. There are a few scenes that I have questions about that I am going to try to reach out to the author about to see if he can give me some answers. If I get a response, I’ll post an update. WARNING! The book is a lot more graphic about the killings than I expected. I figured since it was a YA book, it would be more on the PG side, but there is some gory details that surprised me. There is also a sad scene involving a dog. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail but it is very disturbing for an animal lover like myself.. I like to throw warnings like this out there just so you can prepare yourself if need be.
The characters are interesting. They are a bit cliche though. You have Jazz the main character who is trying to figure out if he is destined to a killer, Connie the tough no nonsense girlfriend (I think I liked her character the least, but I think the reasons why Jazz is attracted to her is very interesting and I hope they are expanded on next book), Howie the weak best friend who sticks by Jazz’s side no matter what, G. William the hokey small town sheriff, and Gramma the dementia ridden grandmother who you can’t help but picture as Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies.

Despite the predictableness of it, I’ll probably pick up the sequel eventually just to see how things progress. It’s definitely not my first choice, but it fit the mold as a creepy book to read and pass the time.

3.5/5

-Leah

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