I Hunt Killers – Barry Lyga

Instead of writing individual reviews for the three books in this series, I thought it would be easier to do one review for all of them. I remember seeing I Hunt Killers, the first novel in the series, while working at the book store. Although I thought it sounded interesting and I shelved it in my “to read” shelf on Good Reads, it look me five years to get around to actually reading it, and by then it turned into a full blown series.

The series follows Jasper Dent, a 17 year old boy who happens to be the son of the country’s most famous serial killer. Jasper’s father raised him to be the perfect killer, teaching him how to think both as a killer and how to think like the police. He taught him tactics to avoid getting caught, but he himself was captured, and Jasper is desperate to avoid following in his father’s footsteps.

Someone is killing in Lobo’s Nod, Jasper’s hometown, and the killings mimic his father’s work. Jasper is sure it is the work of a serial killer, but no one believes him. He does everything he can to prove he is right and to stop the killer before the body count has a chance to pile up.

In the meantime, Jasper has other issues.  His mother has been missing for years, and he believes his father killed her. He lives with his grandmother who has dementia on top of mental health issues. His best friend Howie is a hemophiliac, who struggles with some mild social awkwardness and an obsession with tattoos he can never have. Jasper’s girlfriend Connie is a beautiful black girl who he fears he only loves because his father never killed a black woman. All of these characters play important roles in each of the novels, both to help drive the story, and as windows into Jasper’s thoughts and fears.

I don’t want to say too much about Game (book 2) or Blood of my Blood (book 3), mainly because anything I say will ruin the books for you. I will just say I enjoyed the series. It doesn’t have a tremendous amount of action, seems more peppered in here and there, but I still found it a good easy read. I did not guess the killer in the first book, l which I always like. That being said I didn’t guess the big twist at the end of the third either. I really liked the interesting perspective of someone raised by a serial killer. It is a unique concept to think of how hard police work to get into the mind of a serial killer, and here is this 17 year old kid who can get into the killers mind just as easily as the police’s. The series is definitely worth a read. You can tell the author put a lot of research into his work, which I always appreciate.

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