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I Hunt Killers Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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* "A superb mystery/thriller that explores what it's like to have a monster for a father...Lyga delivers a taut, gory tale that can easily stand its own as an adult thriller...but it's Jazz's internal conflict about his exposure to his father's evil that adds extra dimension and makes the book shine."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* "Lyga brilliantly combines the feel of a true crime story with mystery, adventure, and psychoanalysis...This story will appeal to a wide variety of older teen readers."―VOYA (starred review)
"Lyga has fashioned the kind of gripping, gory psycho-thriller usually relegated to adult fiction...Before the teasing finale, Lyga gifts readers with a Hannibal Lecter-like prison showdown between Jazz and Billy. Safe bet that the sequel will offer more of these satisfying tete-a-tetes."―Booklist
"There is much to satisfy the blood-and-gore lust of older teen CSI and serial-killer fans."―Kirkus
"I adored this book. The mystery pulls you in from the first pages, and Jazz is a more chillingly charming protagonist than Dexter Morgan."―Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments series
"I Hunt Killers is an out-of-control hearse with one busted headlight, blood on the grille, a madman at the wheel, and laughter pouring out of the open windows.. Climb in, buckle up, and go for a ride. It's the best thing in YA fiction sinceThe Hunger Games."―Joe Hill, author of Horns and Heart-Shaped Box
About the Author
Barry Lyga is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including I Hunt Killers, its sequel Game, and his debut, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. He now knows way too much about how to dispose of a human body. Barry lives and writes in New York City. His website is barrylyga.com.
Top customer reviews
Jazz is the son of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Billy Dent. Billy has been sentenced to 25 life sentences for the murders he’s committed, and Jazz was up close and personal for many of them. Let’s just say, this hasn’t given Jazz the healthiest of childhoods.
The layers that Lyga created within this novel make it so complex and rich. Emotionally, physically, and psychologically, Jazz fights against the legacy of his father and the cold possibility that he is just like “Dear Old Dad”. Throughout the events of the book, Billy’s voice echoes in Jazz’s mind, urging him to act the way Billy wants: heartless and violent. This reality brings up two different arguments: Are we a product of our parents or are we our own person? There is also a layer of nature versus nurture and survival of the fittest. The mix of psychological danger on top of the physical danger makes everything hyper-intense.
Speaking of physical danger, while Lyga doesn’t go into graphic detail, there are descriptions of murder scenes that don’t shy away from the grizzly parts. The way the descriptions are crafted really gets you into the mindset of the murderer, and highlights how screwed up Jazz’s life was growing up. This is definitely not a story with a villain who has redeeming qualities; Billy Dent is a sick man, and becomes the boogieman of the novel.
But don’t think Jazz is without hope because he has some amazing friends in his life to keep him anchored. Howie is his best friend, and has been ever since Jazz saved him from some bullies when Jazz first moved to town. Howie stands by Jazz no matter what happens, and some bad stuff happens. Connie, Jazz’s girlfriend, believes he is more than Billy Dent’s son, and that he can make a new life for himself. Without these two, Jazz would probably have done something that he couldn’t walk away from.
I Hunt Killers is like Dexter wrapped in The Hardy Boys, and is a novel that thrill seekers and mystery buffs will enjoy. Out in bookstores and libraries, this is one book that you shouldn’t miss. Believe me, if this weenie can handle it, so can you!
To be quick and spoiler-free...all the best things from I Hunt Killers are alive and well in Game. The slowly tightening noose of psychological suspense, the gritty realities of death and dying--but most of all, the blisteringly honest inner dialogue of Jazz.
Two warnings, though...the crime scene descriptions are even more gruesome than in the last book, so squeamish folks and younger teens should read with caution. And the cliffhanger--make sure you're alone when you read it, so you don't frighten anyone with your scream of outrage! Seriously...I almost knocked a star off out of spite for that ending.
If you're up for these things, though, be prepared for a hell of a ride.