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I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (edition 2012)

by Barry Lyga

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6049016,187 (4.09)15
Title:I Hunt Killers
Authors:Barry Lyga
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

  1. 00
    The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both deal with teenagers using the profiling skills gained from their troubled backgrounds to hunt down serial killers (both of which are focused on them). I Hunt Killers' main character Jasper Dent's father was a serial killer who trained him as well. The Naturals' Cassie learned to profile helping her fake psychic mother at shows - and one of her classmates reminds me of Jasper.… (more)
  2. 00
    Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: A serial killer who lives by a personal code of only killing those who have committed horrible crimes and slipped through loopholes in the law.
  3. 00
    I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar in style and voice. Both mid-teens who believe they might become killers and both become hunters in a unique way.
  4. 00
    Rotters by Daniel Kraus (kaledrina)

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English (88)  German (1)  All languages (89)
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To view an annotated bibliography of this title written for EDLI200, expand the spoiler entry below:

Young Adult
Modern Realistic Fiction
Dark Realistic Fiction
Murder Mystery
Psychological Thriller

Estimated age level of interest:
Young Adult

Estimated reading level:
Grade 5

Brief description:
Jasper Dent is the son of the infamous serial killer Billy Dent and lives in the enduring shadow of his father’s legacy. Raised by Billy until his capture and now living with Billy’s senile mother, Jasper just wants to distance himself from his father’s name, make it to 18 without being moved into the foster care system, and remain stronger than what he believes is his biological predisposition to follow in dad’s footsteps. But when a copycat killer begins recreating Billy’s murders right in Jasper’s hometown, he is forced to face his past head on in order to ensure that he is not held responsible for this new string of grisly deaths.

At least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and how they appear in this book:
As with many young adult offerings in the murder mystery sub-genre, “I Hunt Killers” presents the reader with a young protagonist tasked with solving the mystery that propels the story forward. Jasper was raised by a serial killer, possesses a unique perspective and insights into the inner workings of the mind of a sociopath, and is unperturbed by the prospect of encountering blood, gore, and a dangerous murderer who may lurk around any corner. This makes him ideally suitable to fill this role.

Psychological thrillers are full of suspense and danger, and often feature characters of questionable psychological integrity, such as sociopaths, psychopaths, and others who display similar characteristics. It seems that every time Jasper Dent leaves his house or discovers a new clue about the murderer he hopes to catch, the reader is pulled back to the edge of his or her seat, eager to know what will happen next. Nearly every chapter feels like it ends with a small cliff hanger, and this suspense leaves one wanting to push on from beginning to end. Additionally, Jasper is reluctantly forced to speak with his estranged father in prison in hopes of gaining new insights into the thought process of the copycat killer. Billy Dent’s complete lack of empathy, his unwavering sociopathy, sends chills down the reader’s spine and asks them to step into a mind that considers the taboo and macabre to be sources of pleasure. An unnerving thrill, indeed.

In what ways and how well does the book as a whole serve its intended audience?
While Jasper Dent is, in many ways, far from your typical 17-year-old, he also faces many of the general struggles that teens will be able to relate to. He has difficulty understanding the opposite sex, which leads to tension between him and his girlfriend, Connie. He has a best friend, Howie, who helps him to keep his composure when overwhelmed by life’s challenges. And he has inner demons, secrets he is not proud of, that he struggles to come to terms with in order to figure out and accept who he is at his core. Finally, as noted in a review by Horn Book, this story expertly explores the themes of “nature, nurture, and free will”.

Awards, if any:
#3 New York Times Best Seller
Top 10 Indie Next List Pick

Links to published, professional reviews, if any:
Editorial reviews available through…

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-hunt-killers-barry-lyga/1106028212?ean=9780316...

The Author’s Website: http://barrylyga.com/novels/i-hunt-killers/i-hunt-killers-reviews/

This is a really enjoyable (albeit a little predictable) read for any fan of the murder-mystery and/or psychological thriller genre! The sequel is also excellent and, in my opinion, not as predictable as this first title in the series. ( )
  nphill85 | Oct 12, 2015 |
Received via Netgalley from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.

What if the country’s most notorious and haunting serial killer had a son? What if that son was raised to be a killer? Would he be?

Barry Lyga looks at an interesting question, bringing forth the debate: what makes us who we are, nature or nurture? Jasper Dent was raised by the mad man who killed hundreds of people, who perceives serial killing as a family business. The Dents are professionals, who’s knowledge and skill is passed down from father to son for generations. Billy has big plans for Jazz, and even bars can’t keep the sociopathic tendencies he’s fostered in his son quiet.

In a bid to prove to himself that he is not a sociopath, and not going to grow up to be like Dear Old Dad, he couples with the Sheriff to hunt down the newest local threat who calls himself The Impressionist. Its not until later on that Jazz realize The Impressionist isn’t just a serial killer – he’s replicating his own father’s murders. The clock is ticking and only Jazz can help piece together the killer’s next move using the skills and the hunting instinct that his blood line holds.

I Hunt Killers started off slow, being an interesting look at the psychological impact of living with a parent who is a serial killer. The training Jazz received is doled out in bite size pieces, teasing us into wanting more. We see Jazz fight with his desire to kill, his knowledge that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He also battles the fear that people of Lobo Nod are watching and waiting for him to become his father. The story is very believable and well written but it isn’t until The Impressionist begins to show his true inspiration that the story really becomes interesting.

The details of police work, a serial killer’s psychological profiles and teenaged angst are very realistic. Each piece of the puzzle is clearly well thought through and researched however, sometimes Jazz speaks as if he is reading from a textbook, or even sounds far too much like a pathologist rather than a teenaged kid with serious psychological issues. Also, the Sheriff’s willingness to involve a teenager (and suspect) was a bit far-fetched. Hi lack of apparent care for Jazz being present at crime scenes, disrupting evidence, and talking down to a man with many years’ experience on the force was also bothersome.

At any rate, I Hunt Killers was an interesting take on the question of nature vs nurture and a unique look into the family life of serial killers (fictional family, of course!).
( )
  trigstarom | Sep 19, 2015 |
Jasper's character isn't quite believable. Anyone who experienced what he did as a kid would be seriously messed up. But the writing is quite good and kids who love the horror genre will like it. ( )
  valorrmac | Aug 19, 2015 |
  hadeer | Jul 9, 2015 |
It was good! Must pick up book TWO! ( )
  BunnyCates | Jul 8, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barry Lygaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thurston, CharlieReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinzel, FredÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Für Alvina. Buchstäblich.
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Als Jazz auf das Feld vor der Stadt hinauskam, war schon überall das gelbe Absperrband der Polizei gespannt und bildete eine Art taumelndes, windschiefes Sechseck.
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Seventeen-year-old Jazz learned all about being a serial killer from his notorious "Dear Old Dad," but believes he has a conscience that will help fight his own urges and right some of his father's wrongs, so he secretly helps the police apprehend the town's newest murderer, "The Impressionist."… (more)

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