Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I hunt killers by Barry Lyga

Jazz lives in a small town where he is the local celebrity, not because he is famous, but more because his father is the local son who turned out to be a serial killer - possibly the most infamous serial killer in the history of the good ol' US of A.  Lobo's Nod is a quiet little town with one major serial killer to it's name, and it seems impossible that such a small town could produce more than one such killer, but when first one and then another body is found Jazz becomes convinced that there is a second killer on the loose.  Drawn into the investigation by his curiosity, Jazz soon realises that he may be the only person who can break the mystery of who the killer is and where they will strike next, something that doesn't sit well with the local law enforcement.  Jazz has been on the outside looking in for years, and now he may finally be able to prove he is not his fathers son - but by working so hard to prove he's not, Jazz may just prove that he is.

This was an amazing read, one that I had trouble putting down once I started because the tension and action starts on the first page and doesn't let up until the last.  Jazz is a like able character with a clear voice that leads the story forward by sheer force of his personality, and his relationships with Connie and Howie lead to come moments of tense drama, and some laugh out loud moments of sheer disbelief.  The characters and their relationships are well thought out and drive the story forward - rather than acting as a distraction.  The plot is also well thought out and there are some nice twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end, keeping you wondering who the killer really is and when they will reveal themselves.

Forensic style books for teenagers can either be very good or very bad - depending on how much they depend on the "facts" to keep the story afloat.  I hunt killers is one of the better ones, bringing elements of human psychology to the mix, with Lyga having a deft touch with human emotions and human interactions.  Jazz is an intense character who is battling his inner (and outer) demons, and with the backstory supplied it is not surprising that he turned out the way he did.  A thoroughly enjoyable beginning to a new series, and I look forward to the sequel, Game, coming out in 2013.

If you like this book then try:
  • The book of blood and shadow by Robin Wasserman
  • Acceleration by Graham McNamee
  • Crime seen by Jenny Pausacker
  • The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
  • Guy Langman, crime scene procrastinator by Josh Berk
  • Dead to you by Lisa McMann

Reviewed by Brilla

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