I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Jazz (Jasper) has the unfortunate distinction of being the son of the most notorious serial killer of the 21st century. Even though Billy Cornelius Dent (Dear Old Dad to Jazz) is serving 32 consecutive life sentences in the nearby state prison for the 100+ gruesome murders he committed, Jazz can’t seem to get him out of his head. Actually, this is no surprise since Billy has been indoctrinating Jazz to be his successor since the boy was a small child. Not only did Dear Old Dad force Jazz to watch as he killed and mutilated his victims, he tutored his son in the study of human anatomy, psychology and the history of serial killers. “He’d spent his childhood obeying his father’s every command, but as Billy Dent had become more and more erratic–culminating in the two Lobo’s Nod (their hometown) bodies–Jazz had begun to shake off the chains his father had bound him with.” Now, four years later, another dead body has turned up in the woods near Lobo’s Nod, and Jazz is doing his best to convince the sheriff (G. William Tanner) that it’s another serial killer. Although G. William has made a point of watching after Jazz since his dad was imprisoned, he can’t believe there could possibly be another serial killer in their small town.
I literally could not stop reading this book. It’s told from Jazz’s perspective so readers get to see his struggles with the “urges” his dad programmed into him, and his mental progress as he works towards figuring out the case with his best (and only) friend Howie and his girlfriend Connie. The narrative voice is so strong and realistic, that I felt like I was right there listening to Jazz’s thoughts. The action is relentless, moving from one twist to the next, with Jazz always trying to stay one step ahead of the killer, and eventually his own father. I highly recommend this to teen who enjoy crime and mystery stories, and readers looking for a fast, engaging title.