Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Book One
I became a fan of Barry Lyga after reading his novel, Boy Toy. It's a tale that deals with the sexual abuse of a young boy by his teacher. Lyga told me he received a lot of flack for the book because of the graphic description of the sexual abuse. I didn't have a problem with it as was true to the story and as a counselor, I've heard a lot of cringe-worthy stories from children who were abused. It's real, it happens. Deal with it.

I Hunt Killers deals with another real-life entity: the serial killer. As Lyga was writing the book, I recall him talking about how much research it took as well as how huge his manuscript was.  He got the book deal at around the same time Libba Bray got hers for The Diviners. I couldn't wait to read them both. Check out the description of I Hunt Killers...

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some 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 criminals' point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

As I read the story I felt I was in good hands. I was confident that Lyga had done his homework and I was getting an education somewhat, into the mind and machinations of how a serial killer goes about his business. But this in not just about the ways and means of a killer. Lyga approaches the story from a unique and fresh perspective: the killer's adolescent son, Jazz. It explores the horror of having such a man for a father; how it affects Jazz's sense of who he is and what he fears he will do.

The author fleshed out the characters so well. They each had a unique voice and persona. Jazz's best friend, Howie was laugh-at-loud funny. And Connie the girlfriend...well she made me wonder if the author had a black girlfriend because he was dead-on about the black girl's obsession with her hair! Lol...

I Hunt Killers is an exciting mystery as the reader tries to figure out, along with Jazz, who the newest killer in town is now. When the killer is revealed, I pondered on how the author deftly executed that plot twist. He had me scrambling back through the pages to make sure the killer was who I thought it was. Genius. It was a real study in constructing an intriguing plot.

The story concludes firmly, but is clearly leading to another exciting installment in book two. I can't wait!

I Hunt Killers released April 3, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.



  1. Glad you enjoyed it. I have get me a copy of this!

  2. I have this...I just need to read it...loved your thoughts about I have to check out Boy Toy...wish me luck with capcha!

  3. Now you are toying with me...I had glasses on and everything!
    Where is it?

  4. Glad you enjoyed this book. Sounds like something I would like. Great review!


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