“What if the world’s most notorious serial killer… was your dad?” That is the fate of Jasper Dent in I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyge. His father, Billy Dent, went on a killing spree that last for years. For Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was a year-round event. Jasper has witness crime scenes no child should ever. Like how on his ninth birthday, when his father showed him how to use quicklime to dissolve body parts.
Four years after the arrest and trail of Billy Dent, the story begins with Jasper, Jazz for short, trying to figure out if he more like his father than he would want to admit. “It’s not that I want to or don’t want to. It’s just … I can. I could. It’s like… I imagine it’s like being a great runner. If you knew you could run really fast, wouldn’t you? If you were stuck walking somewhere, wouldn’t you want to let loose and run like hell? That’s how I feel.” While part of that story line was interesting, I must say that it was overall a bit flat, drawn out and unbelievable. Although, how can any really write about being a child of a serial killer and really grasp the horrors that they must go through?
Jazz has to live with his grandmother, the woman who raised a serial killer. “Gramma Dent was never all that sane to begin with, her head packed full with a rotting collection of twisted religious dogma, crackpot conspiracy theories, and just plain wrong, handed down from generation to generation.” Although throughout most of the story Gramma Dent is usually drugged with Benadryl by Jazz so that he can get away.
A body is found in a field and Jazz is compelled to find the killer. Jazz feels that since he grew up with a killer, he can solve the crime faster and better than the police. I will admit that within the first 80 pages or so, I thought I had it figured out who the killer was. I was shocked by the identity of the killer but for the most part everything else was, eh. Yes, this book was a bit disturbing and demented but in the end it just fell flat. For whatever reason, I could not connect to Jasper Dent as a character and thus I really didn’t care what happened to him, one way or the other.
Lyga does a good job setting up the series, and yes this is a series. Even without looking it up, I know that this is a series. Maybe the next book will be better?