Lyga, B. (2012). I hunt killers. New York: Little, Brown.
Jasper, “Jazz”, has to live with the fact that his father is a serial killer. He is reminded of this daily through encounters with people in the community as well as in his own head as he recalls many of the demented things his father would tell him and have him do. His father wanted to make Jasper the best serial killer there ever was. Now, Jasper is struggling to just be normal which is hard when you constantly recall the voice and advice of a murderer. Howie, his best friend that bruises if you look at him, and Connie, his girlfriend, help keep him grounded as he now lives with his grandmother, who is beginning to suffer from alzheimer’s disease. Since his father is serving 32 consecutive life sentences, the Sheriff, G. William has taken a special interest in Jazz after he captured his father. Now there is another serial killer on the loose mimicking the infamous Billy Dent. Jazz is determined to prove to himself that he is not the killer that his father tried to make him by using the knowledge to find The Impressionist.
Commentary and Text Connections:
Psychology classes, science classes and forensics electives will be able to use their content knowledge to analyze the possibility or practicality of scenarios described and played out in the book I Hunt Killers by Lyga. Much of what Jazz gets away with (breaking into a morgue, surprising a serial killer in the act of killing) probably would get a real kid arrested or even killed. Readers, though, will be more than happy to suspend disbelief in the company of a book this good. I Hunt Killers takes issues of nature vs. nurture, fate vs. free will, to the wildest possible extremes. But this makes the novel an elegant, intriguing combination of philosophical inquiry and psychological suspense that will keep readers turning pages until the very end and will have them thinking about the questions it raises long afterwards.