This is a spoiler-riffic book review. Because reviews aren’t fun if you don’t have spoilers!

Recommendation: Grade B. An exciting thriller with a good mystery that was hard to put down. Mild gore. I’d say it was more disturbing than gore-filled.

I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga

I’m using my bullet point format on this book.

Relevant thoughts:

  • Jazz is relatable as a narrator. I felt for the hard place he is in. At the same time, you’re kind of creeped out by his dissonance from the victims, and the morbid thoughts that creep into his mind. Basically a teen with major trauma that he’s trying to keep buried deep. I understood why it was so important for him to solve this case.
  • The book was more disturbing than creepy. Learning about all the murders of Billy Dent was hard. The fact that Jazz had to sit through the killing of his own dog… I almost had to skip through that. Definitely skimmed through the chapters from the serial killer POV, because I’m just not into that.
  • The humor is constant. I love Howie and Connie. G William has his moments too. But Howie takes the gold. I love the moment when the threatens to bleed on the guy. Priceless Howie. As creepy as this book is, it’s from the POV of a teen, and it reminds us of that.
  • G William was convincing as a cop letting a teen help with the case. He wants to solve the murder, and Jazz has resources that could help. At the same time, he almost has a paternal affection for Jazz, so doesn’t want him involved in this crap. I get it. And I get why he gives the kid leeway.
  • I hope beyond hope that Jazz didn’t kill his mother.
  • Billy Dent is a creep. Yet I thought Jazz handled him quite well. His escape at the end wasn’t a total shock. I knew that fountain wouldn’t bring anything good. The killing of his caseworker at the end was hard to read. Again, this book can be disturbing.

Would I recommend it? I think it depends on what you can stomach. I’d have trouble reading it again, mainly because I had to skip some of the more disturbing parts, and the disturbing parts that I did read… I wouldn’t want to read those parts again. But I have a very, very small stomach for that kind of stuff. Again, not gory– just disturbing. So if that doesn’t bother you, go for it. It’s a great read, awesome writing, and developed characters. Plus, you’ll laugh more times than you’d expect. I recommend with reservations. I probably will not read the next one, because from what I can see on Goodreads, the disturbing stuff doesn’t get any better, and I think this was the most I can take. I’m a little disappointed, because I really like the characters and it ended with a cliffhanger, but best case scenario is all my favorite characters live through everything but I’m still scarred. Worst case, they get killed off and I’m scarred even more. I’m okay with sticking where I am for now.

Grade B

Confused by my grading scale, click here to find out how the grades relate to star-ratings you’re more used to seeing.