Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
You’re seventeen years old and your father is the most notorious serial killer America has ever produced. He brought you up. Taught you everything he knows. Everyone in your ordinary American town knows who you are.
So even though Dear Old Dad is safely behind bars, when the killing starts all over again, you are the first person the police come to see. They don’t know whether it’s nature or nurture. And neither do you.
Anyone who knows me at all would probably pick up this book and assume I would like it, even just from the title. I have actually wanted to read this for a long time, it had been on my wishlist for a while and when I was sent the third book in the series (Blood by Blood) in the post, I took this opportunity to buy the first two, and I am now halfway through the second book.
I’ll start off by saying if you love crime, psychology, criminal profiling… you need this book. It was everything I had hoped for in a book and this is definitely now up there with my favourites right next to 1984 by George Orwell.
This is about a boy named Jasper Dent whose dad is a world famous serial killer, he taught Jasper all the tricks of his trade right from when he was a young boy. There is a constant theme throughout the book that you want to know if Jasper is going to be able to not turn out like his dad, it has a subtle Nature vs. Nurture debate throughout which I absolutely adore. We follow Jasper as murders start to happen again in his town, it’s also about him trying to prove that he’s not like his dad.
In terms of characters. I really love Jasper, I feel sorry for him, with the upbringing he has had and the effect it has had on him, but admire the fact that he’s not just going to give in and turn out like his dad had planned and how everyone thinks he is. Admittedly, there are times where I thought he was a little strange, but what can you expect when you’ve grown up with a serial killer for a dad?
Howie is another character in the book, Jaspers best friend, he is featured heavily in this book and we get to know him quite a lot, I really like Howie, I also really like the uniqueness to him of his disease, I’ve never read a book where someone has had haemophilia and it was really interesting to learn about. I could tell throughout the book that there was a strong bond between Jasper and howie, which made me warm towards Jasper more.
The story in general had me on my toes the whole way through, I was gripped. I wanted to know more about Jasper’s upbringing, I wanted to know more about Billy Dent (Jaspers father) and at the same time I also wanted to know about the murders that were happening in the town. There was also the need to know more, and there still is at the end of the book, especially when it comes to Jasper himself, the general story of I Hunt Killers may be over, but Jaspers is not, which is what made me pick the second book (game) up which I am thoroughly enjoying.
The writing in this book is amazing, the characters are written just as they should be with so much depth, the story is so cleverly planned out and there has clearly been a lot of research when writing this book which I highly admire. I enjoyed every aspect of this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.