I Hunt Killers Review
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Lately, it seems as though the most popular young adult novels have focused on moody supernatural romance and dystopian drama. But teens (and adults) with darker, more twisted tastes will want to seek out author Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers—a creepy crime thriller with a deep and disturbing psychological twist.

I Hunt Killers is the first in a series of young adult thrillers about Jasper “Jazz” Dent, a 17-year-old boy who’s anything but normal. After his mother’s mysterious disappearance and until he was 13, Jazz was raised solely by his Dear Old Dad, notorious serial killer Billy Dent. And just as a carpenter might teach his son the family trade, Billy did the same, encouraging Jazz to follow in his sociopathic footsteps.

Since Billy’s arrest, Jazz has gone out of his way to be unlike his father. So when a body turns up in their small town, Jazz is determined to help find what he believes is another serial killer—to prove that he’s not the monster that his father raised him to be.

On the surface, I Hunt Killers is a dark and twisted crime thriller—the story of the hunt for a serial killer who’s mimicking Billy’s killing spree. It’s a suspenseful mystery, too, and Jazz’s hunches and suspicions will keep you guessing—as long as you can overlook some of the all-too-convenient coincidences (like the fact that the killer is able to find people with the same initials, hair color, age, and profession as Billy’s victims in such a small town).

While the investigation is an interesting one, though, I Hunt Killers is so much more than just another gruesome young adult mystery. It’s a gripping psychological thriller about a boy who was raised in the most horrifying way—forced to do and see things that no child (or adult, for that matter) should.

It’s Jazz’s story that makes this such a fascinating read. He’s constantly haunted by his past—by his father’s sick manipulation—and he fears that it’s too late to turn back, that it’s really just a matter of time before his true nature takes over and he’ll become just like Billy. Each day, Jazz makes a conscious effort to prove to everyone around him that he’s nothing like his father—though, in reality, he’s not so sure.

Fortunately, despite his family history, there are a few people who aren’t afraid of him—who are there to support him. And those friendships offer just a ray or two of hope to brighten Jazz’s otherwise dark and disturbing world.

Of course, this chilling psychological/serial killer thriller isn’t for everyone. It’s an unsettling novel that’s sure to haunt your dreams. But it’s also a gripping story with an intriguing set-up and fascinating characters—one that promises to be just the beginning of a must-read series.

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