Google+ Reading Teen: Book and Audiobook Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book and Audiobook Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers
Hachette Audio
By Barry Lyga
Narrated by Charlie Thurston
Length:9 hrs and 32 mins
Release Date:04-03-12
Buy the Book:  Amazon
Buy the Audio:  Audible
Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer. But he's also the son of a (now incarcerated) infamous serial killer, and "Dear Old Dad" (as Jazz calls him) has taught Jazz everything he knows. But what Jazz doesn't know is whether or not he is destined to follow in his father's footsteps. He knows he has urges, but he also knows (hopes) that he has a conscience, that he isn't like his father, that he can follow his own path. And so, in an effort to right his father's wrongs, Jazz decides to help the police (although they don't know it yet) hunt down "The Impressionist" - a new serial killer in town.

As The Impressionist kills more victims, Jazz uses the "skills" he's learned to determine the killer is copying his father's career - almost to the letter. Everyone in town thinks that Jazz could be the murderer, and why shouldn't they? The only people that stand by him are his hemophiliac best friend, Howie, and his tough, beautiful girlfriend, Connie - one of the few girls Jazz feels comfortable around given his father's history: His dad may have murdered dozens of women, but they were all white, and Connie is black.

As the bodies pile up, Jazz struggles with determining his "true" destiny. Ultimately, he manages to stop The Impressionist, but in the meantime learns his father has escaped from his maximum security prison, and Jazz may have played a role in his escape.... For now he's safe, but he knows his dad is out there, somewhere, looking for his next victim....
At a Glance:

I Hunt Killers was both fantastically written and horribly disturbing.  The mystery was compelling, as was the psychology.  Though sometimes completely grossed out, I was also thoroughly captured, and didn't want to put it down until the mystery was solved.

The Audio:

This audio was REALLY good.  There is such a creepiness factor with this book, and Charlie Thurston pulls it off fantastically.  Cuts like Chicken.... *shivers*  He had distinct voices for the different characters, and I thought he pulled of the "teenage voice" as well as the female voices, older voices, southern accents, and creepy serial killers with no problems! Cuts like Chicken.... I really don't have any complaints at all!  He even did a great job making the dorky best friend sound dorky, but not too dorky.  Those who have listened to a lot of audio will know what I mean!  If you're wanting to read this book, I highly, highly recommend it on audio.  Just don't fall asleep listening to it like I did.....nightmares!! Cuts like Chicken....

Listen to a sample here.

The Violence, The Gore, The Eeew:

Yeah...this book goes there.  It has some pretty intensely detailed scenes of death-by-serial-killer.  I'd say it's one of the, if not THE most violent book I've read.  Some of that is coming second hand (seeing the bodies after the killings), and some is first hand, from the mind of the killer.  If you are squeamish, this will definitely bother you.  For me, the details didn't really bother me.  I don't get too grossed out by that stuff.  I'm usually impacted more by the mind of a killer than the actual violence, if that make any sense.  I actually found this book to be pretty realistic.  So, it's one of those times when, if heavy crime-violence bothers you, don't read it.  If you like crime-solving things like this, you will not be disappointed.


I don't watch Dexter.  I tried, and really violence doesn't usually bother me that much, but it's hard for me to watch a show where the "hero" is a person committing horrible crimes.  I know there's more to it than that, and he only kills bad people, but it just doesn't sit right with me.  So, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Jasper in I Hunt Killers.  It was hard to read him sometimes.  He had a lot of disturbing thoughts, but overall, I found myself really liking him a lot.  Jasper doesn't want to kill anyone.  I don't think it's actually in his nature.  It's just that he's been raised to do it.  So, it's a constant struggle for him, and every area of his life is affected by it.  The thing is, Jazz is a really nice, caring, protective person.  He just got REALLY screwed up by his psycho-dad, which makes some of his thought-processes a little.....gruesome. 

The Sidekick:

Can I just say, one of my favorite side-kicks ever??  And yeah, I think Howie would totally dig being called the side-kick.  So often in books, the best friend is supposed to be dorky, but they come off so far over the top that it's ridiculous.  Howie was seriously awesome!  I would love to be friends with him.  I loved the way that he just accepted Jazz for who he was, and never let him get away with anything, or let him feel sorry for himself.  I think that Jazz sees himself as Howie's protector, but I kind of felt that Howie was the one protecting Jazz, from who he could become.

Even Potential Serial Killers Can Find Love: 

Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, are actually already together when the book starts, which I'm not usually a fan of, but this time I really liked it.  Although I question her sanity, staying with someone struggling with whether or not he's a killer, I have to admit she was Perfect for him.  There isn't the normal tension of will they or won't they get together, there's only the tension of will he or won't he kill her....

AND Humor?

I was surprised by how funny this book was.  Between Jazz's dry humor, Howie's sarcasm, and Jazz's certifiable Grandmother, I actually found myself laughing out loud frequently.  I think adding the humor to this book was brilliant.  It helps to balance out the tone of the book and helps you to feel hope in the midst of all the devastation. 
Is there a Cliffha.....

Um. Yes.  Though this immediate mystery is wrapped up, there is a larger and much more intriguing/fascinating/creepy/dreadful story that is just getting started.  And I WANT to know what happens!!

So, what do you think?  Can you handle this book?
  • Sexual Content: Heavy (having to do with the killer)
  • Profanity:  Moderate/Heavy 
  • Violence:  Extreme
  • Other Notables:  Jazz struggles with whether or not he will kill someone
For more details, check out I Hunt Killers on


  1. Sounds like my kind of book. Something that gets you so wrapped up in it. I love it!


  2. This book sounds like something I would totally love. I like creepy, thrilling, disturbing books. I have been hearing how awesome this is and it's definitely on my TBR list.

    1. Yeah, this sounds like it's perfect for you then!! Let me know how you like it!

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  4. Great review, Andye! I'm looking forward to listening to this one.


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