FICTION

I Hunt Killers

362p. Little, Brown. Apr. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-316-12584-0; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-316-20174-2. LC number unavailable.
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Gr 9 Up—Jasper's father, now in prison, is the world's most notorious serial killer, and he raised his son to follow in his footsteps. Now Jazz (who never turned his father in) can't be sure that he isn't a sociopath, too. He tries to find redemption by convincing the local sheriff that a recent murder is the work of a new serial killer—one who seems to be an admirer of his father and patterns his methods after him. Jazz proves himself right and is able to use his knowledge of his father's way of thinking to track down the murderer. The teen has disturbing thoughts about women, thinking that they are "simultaneously special and useless" and has to consistently remind himself that "People matter. People are real." He can be a difficult protagonist to relate to, but many teens, particularly boys, will be drawn to this title for the suspense, the violence, the brutality, and the gore. Fans of Dexter or Dan Wells's I Am Not a Serial Killer (Tor, 2010) will likely find themselves hooked on this new series.—Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA
Four years ago, Jazz's father was convicted of over one hundred and twenty murders. Now Jazz hopes to stop whoever is re-creating those murders. Lyga explores compelling questions of nature, nurture, and free will in Jazz, who has more heart and conscience than he thinks. The biggest strength of this taut thriller is the engrossing mystery of the killer's identity--and what Jazz will do when he finds him.
Seventeen-year-old Jasper "Jazz" Dent’s life changed irrevocably four years ago when his father was convicted of over one hundred and twenty murders. "For Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round"; Billy taught Jazz tricks of the serial killer trade throughout his childhood. But when another killer strikes, Jazz hopes desperately that preventing more murders will prove to his small town (and himself) that he’s not destined to follow in his father’s bloody footsteps. He runs his own investigation alongside the official one and pieces together a pattern: the killer is doing a Billy Dent "impression" by re-creating his murders down to minute details. Though the characters are underdeveloped, Lyga explores compelling questions of nature, nurture, and free will in Jazz, who has more heart and conscience than he thinks. A wisecracking best friend, a compassionate girlfriend, and a father figure provided by the local sheriff anchor him and occasionally offer advice on "being human" to counterbalance Billy’s macabre life lessons in violence and manipulation. The biggest strength of this taut thriller is the engrossing mystery of the Impressionist’s identity -- and what Jazz will do when he finds him. katie bircher

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