Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Rachel's Poll Winner #2: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga
Narrated by Charlie Thurston
Publisher: Hatchett Audio
Publication date: April 3rd 2012
Length: 9 hrs 32 minutes
My rating: 4 stars 


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15699188-the-chocolate-thief

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

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 grew up in the hunting grounds of the Richard Ramirez, aka The Nightstalker, an infamous serial killer from the 1980’s.  Our home was even painted in the colors that he preferred, so my sister and I would stay up late and scare ourselves silly with the possibilities.  But even before all of this, I’ve always been fascinated with murder mysteries, so when I Hunt Killers came out my interest was immediately piqued. A story centered on the son of one of the most horrific serial killers in history?  Sign me up!  That being said, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so utterly creeped out by a story!

Jasper Dent was raised by a monster, his father Billy, privy to his activities, schooled in his evil ways.  Billy was finally caught, and for the last four years Jazz has been living free of his control, and determined to be nothing like him. He’s very afraid that Billy’s influence or genes predispose him to become a killer, though. Jazz despises what his father did, but it did leave a mark on his thinking. 

When a killing happens in Jazz’s home town he knows in his heart that this is just the beginning. The murder has all the marks of a serial killer, and Jazz is determined to stop him.  As a reader you realize that Jazz desperately wants to prove that he’s unlike Billy, and stopping someone like his father might help in that regard.

Being inside Jazz’s mind was a bit disturbing at times.  Having to relive some of his memories about his father made me ill.  I felt so horrible for Jazz, and wished someone could’ve yanked him out of his father’s clutches sooner! His father was a true sociopath with absolutely no regard for the life of other, even more horrible is the fact he got pleasure from their pain and suffering.  Unfortunately, some of his thinking rubbed off on Jasper and he has a constant inner struggle to look at people and know that they matter.  But he does know how a killer thinks which makes him a perfect hunter of their kind.

I was rooting for Jasper to catch the killer but seriously scared for him as well. I knew it was just a matter of time before Jazz registered on the killer’s radar, making this a suspenseful and frightening read. I kept trying to figure out murderer’s identity along with Jazz and I had a few suspects in mind, but didn’t know for sure until the end. 

I did really enjoy this story, but I found find Jazz’s involvement in the investigation a little unbelievable.  I highly doubt any law enforcement body would’ve included and allowed a teenager to be any part of such a serious investigation.  Still, I Hunt Killers was an addictive story, albeit completely disturbing.  The murders were shocking and brutal.  The ending makes the future for Jazz’s full of even more frightening possibilities.  I do think I’ll hold off on reading the sequel for a while just because I hear it has a cliffhanger. 

When I Hunt Killers first came out I was extremely excited to pick it up, yet, as soon as I got a copy it sat on my shelf with all my other “must-have-it-now” books and languished there until it won our Monthly Recap poll for my next read.  I'm so happy I finally read  listened to it.  The audio version was spot on and Charlie Thurston's narration made the story come alive! I must thank all of our lovely readers for helping me tackle my dusty TBR!

 





23 comments:

  1. Your story about growing up where an active serial killer was is really scary!!! I have always been fascinated by serial killers (and completely freaked out by them at the same time). I really liked I Hunt Killers, and I think I liked Game (the 2nd book) even better. You should definitely pick that up... although it ends on a mighty cliffhanger. I liked your review and agree that it's definitely unbelievable... but still really cool!

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    1. I am both fascinated (at a distance!) and freaked out by serial killers as well. I'm more excited to pick up book 2 now, Michelle! :)

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  2. This sounds like a perfect read for me. I have heard of Richard Ramirez too, I believe he was in one of the Criminal Minds episodes. Or something. But I have heard of him. I love how scary this sounds and while I'm excited to read it, I'm also worried cause mostly I end up disappointed in thriller stories. But still I'm so happy you enjoyed this one. Great review, Rachel :)

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    1. Thanks, Tanja! :) I was addicted to Criminal Minds for a time, but I didn't know Richard Ramirez was mentioned on that show. Not surprised though, he was pretty notorious. *shivers*

      Hope you like this if you pick it up. It was completely addictive! Be warned, though, it's not for the faint of heart.

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  3. I agree completely, Rachel - I couldn't predict the killer but was rooting for Jazz all the way. I think it's impossible to read this book just for the mystery as the characters add so many levels of complexity to the story. It's fascinating. Anyhow, I'm thrilled you finally picked this one up - fantastic review!(:

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    1. I agree, Keertana. Solving the mystery was only a portion of this story that made it interesting. The interworking of Jazz's mind and the other characters were fascinating! And thanks! :)

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  4. Despite the unbelievability of a teen deeply involved in the hunt for a killer, the story sounds very intriguing! Jazz seems like he'd freak me out a bit, being in his mind like that, but in a good way.

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  5. I haven't heard too much about this one, but I'm so glad to see that you really loved it, Rachel! The characters and the mystery/thriller elements sound superb - just my cup of tea. I'm definitely going to have to read this soon :)

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  6. This one makes me nervous Rachel! I don't do well with gore, is there a lot of detailed description of the murders? If there is, I'll likely pass on this despite how terrifyingly fascinating it sounds. I too think including a teenager in a murder investigation of this magnitude is extraordinarily unlikely, but I'm willing to suspend disbelief with books like this:) Glad you enjoyed this one so much!

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    1. There's enough to majorly creep you out, Jenny. This is definitely not for the faint of heart. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of an entertaining story as well, and it didn't diminish my enjoyment. :)

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  7. I know what you mean, Rachel! I enjoyed the story, but all my maternal instincts were on high alert! I so wanted to protect Jazz, keep him safe from it all.
    I'm happy that you liked this as much as you did. I have a feeling you'll like the second book as well, although the cliffhanger made me a bit angry.

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    1. I think I'll wait a little longer to pick it up then. I do have it on deck ready to go, though. :)

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  8. I'm totally freaked out just reading this review! I'm pretty fascinated by the psychological aspects of this story, but I think on a practical level it is just too much for me. But I've heard really good things and I'm glad you liked it!

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  9. I'm really glad you enjoyed last months poll winner, Rachel! This sounds really creepy and like the kind of thing I'd love. I imagine that hearing somebody read it to you would only add to the suspense - like when you tell horror stories around the fire as a kid!

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  10. Ahh I have this coming in the mail today! Your review has made me 10 times more excited than I already was to start it!!! Awesome review hun!!! (:

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  11. YEah I have been itching to read this series as well. I am fascinated by serial killers and I even did a senior piece on them in college. I would love all the nature vs. nuture stuff. I need ot make time for this ASAP!

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  12. I had no idea that any part of this book was based on real people/events. So creepy!
    I do admit I'm a bit intrigued by the intense psychological/character focus this story promises. I love stories when characters seem to have the odds against them (or at least feel as though the odds are against them) and so look for ways to prevail. Still, though, I'm not much into scary stories. The dilemma! Perhaps I'll read it eventually - if I'm in the right mood and it's sunny and bright outside haha. Great review, Rachel! And glad you had the opportunity to read something from your TBR list. :)

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  13. It must've been so freaky to live in a place with a serial killer!! Especially when your house had the same colors and everything? :0 I Hunt Killers sounds extremely disturbing and well done but I'm a little too creeped to want to read it immediately!!

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    1. It was extremely creepy, Pooja, but more than that, frightening! It was a tense period of time when his killings were splattered all over the news. Everyone was anxious over who would be next!

      I hope you enjoy this if you pick it up. :)

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  14. Sounds like an interesting book :D I'm glad you managed to enjoy it so much. <3 Great review :)

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  15. I'll be reading this in the weekend - so I only skimmed through your review - seems like this would be something totally outside of my comfort zone, so I'm now both scared and excited. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. I love watching those Lifetime mystery movies, even though they are predictable, the story itself is so addicting and nerve racking. When I heard about this book, I was honestly a bit grossed out knowing that it was a serial killer's son's story. It's not the most appealing person to know about, but curiosity killed the cat, I do want to give it a try. I'm glad that this one doesn't end in a cliff like it's sequel. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

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  17. Wasn't this creepy? I'm so glad this ended up being a good read (well, listen) for you, Rachel. It's interesting to hear you talk about Richard Ramirez and growing up in the area where he did all his..work, I'm sure it's not something easily forgotten. Every time we drive by El Coyote we talk about how it was the place where the Mansons had dinner before they went on their infamous killing spree. @_@

    I'm curious what you'll think of the sequel, though. Will be watching for your reaction!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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