Talk-o-Babble, Episode 1:
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Hello and welcome to the first Talk-o-bout a book (or Talk-o-Babble) discussion! A book review on the latest novel I read.
As usual, I found another book about serial killers and investigations and fell in love with it. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga has a way of capturing you. Whether it’s the main character Jazz and his insight into murder, or the very idea of him being the son of a serial killer, this novel grips you. And it certainly gripped me.
To give a quick summary:
The story follows the son of a notorious serial killer, Jasper Dent, as he tries to distance himself from his father’s legacy and live a normal life. However, when a series of gruesome murders take place in his hometown, Jasper joins forces with the police, the very ones who put away his father, to track down the killer.
Let’s talk PLOT—5/5
The story revolves around Jasper “Jazz” Dent, and his journey to prove his own innocence and stop a new killer. It captivates you with that one simple question of nature vs nurture. Can a boy who was born to a serial killer have a chance at a normal life? And as the story unfolds, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing the answer to that question.
While parts of the story are a bit predictable, others will slap you across the face. But no matter the predictability at some parts, the story will always have you hooked and engaged. Lyga thought this story through, and the payoff at the end is awesome!
Let’s talk CHARACTERS—4/5
Overall, the characters in this story are very well-developed and fleshed out. Especially the protagonist, Jazz. He’s a complex character because he’s torn between loyalty to his father and his sense of morality. Also, he’s got a pretty sick sense of humor which can be both hilarious and a little disturbing.
For the supporting characters, like Howie, Connie, and Billy, Lyga did well to give them depth without overtaking the importance of Jazz. They provide a lot of stability and instability to his character.
Let’s talk WRITING STYLE—4/5
Lyga’s writing style is engaging and easy to read, with a good balance of humor and suspense. I love the way he writes dreams and brings them to life with just the simplest words and phrases. And he has a talent for describing a scene without giving too many details, and gives just enough backstory for you to know important details but not to get bogged down in, say, an entire side character’s life.
Let’s talk ATMOSPHERE—5/5
I love the atmosphere of this book because it very much builds the perfect intense and creepy world, and does so with vivid, graphic descriptions. But not every scene of the book is vivid and graphic, and not every place Jazz goes to is intense and creepy. It has a wonderful balance of places that feel overwhelming and places where Jazz feels comfortable and safe (and therefore where we, the readers, feel safe because, for most of the book, we just aren’t going to!).
I devoured this book from cover to cover. It was a delicious but disturbing journey through the mind of a killer’s kid. And I came to adore and love Jazz. I would highly recommend I Hunt Killers to fans of crime and mystery novels. It’s a fast-paced and gripping read that’ll have you up all night wondering who the killer is. Meeting strangers at the store and questioning their motives. And maybe, just maybe, causing you a small amount of paranoia in your everyday life. And it’ll do so with a graphic flare other mysteries lack, so it’s not for the weary of heart.
But it’s definitely worth reading!