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Budding sociopath or tortured teen?

March 21, 2013

Billy Dent tortured and killed 124 people before he was caught. That meant 13 years during which he passed on everything he knew about torture and murder, body disposal, evading detection and pretending to be normal, to his son Jasper ‘Jazz’ Dent. Billy conditioned, programmed, and taught Jazz to give his heir apparent all the tools to become the most formidable killer ever.

Since his father was sent to prison for 33 consecutive life sentences, Jazz has not contacted the ‘King of Murder’. He’s doing his best to forget, although recurring nightmares and caring for his delusional old Grandma, make this almost impossible. However, his best friend Howie and his girlfriend Connie provide him with some hope that he will be able to develop his quashed humanity.

Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga

But when a young woman is found murdered, Jazz recognizes it as the work of a serial killer. It’s not until the third victim that he’s able to convince the local Sheriff that the killings are all linked, and that the killer is mimicking Billy Dent. Determined to find the culprit before the police, both to redeem the Dent name and to prove to himself that he is not his father’s son, Jazz finds himself in serious danger. The killer now has him in his sights … he wants to force Jazz to release those urges his father nurtured and fulfil his destiny.

Neither Jazz, the police, his father, or the reader knows if nature or nurture will win out in the end.

“I hunt killers” by Barry Lyga is a riveting young adult novel. It’s a little like the ‘Dexter’ series by Jeffry Lindsay in that it’s written from the viewpoint of a sociopath – because that is what Jazz has been trained to be – but different. The sequel ‘The Game’ is due out in April 2013, and ABC have also picked it up to develop as a television series. In the meantime, I highly recommend it to fans of suspense and thriller fiction of any age or gender.

– Natalie

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