Most 17-year-olds don’t have to worry about much.
Jasper ‘Jazz’ Dent is not like many 17-year-old boys, and worries about becoming a serial killer as his father, Billy Dent, trained him to be to follow in Billy’s own foot steps. When I hunt killers begins, Billy has been locked up for four years after he was connected to over 100 murders over the span of Billy’s life since his own father died.
Jazz struggles everyday to ignore the impulses Billy bestowed onto his son, as he attempts to ignore the lessons Billy gave him from how best to kill someone to the best way to dispose of a body. Though, some of the lessons are harder to ignore than others.Jazz admits that before Billy was arrested, he saw his father as a God. Someone who was above the laws, and the people around them were placed on the earth to be killed off in any way that will sedate their desire to kill. He never questioned Dear Old Dad’s actions or lessons, and even kept the Rumpus room of souvenirs from Billy’s victims in order before the police find Jazz attempting to get rid of all of the souvenirs once Billy’s been arrested.
As a result of his upbringing, Jazz has become obsessed with murder and death. When the first dead body pops up just outside of Lobo Nod’s, the quiet town that Jazz has lived in his whole life, Jazz immediately jumps to the idea of a second serial killer on the sleepy town. The Sheriff who arrested Billy Dent, G. William Tanner, isn’t as quick to pull the serial killer card and tells Jazz as much.
As the bodies (and fingers) start to pile up around them, Jazz and G. William attempt to figure out what’s driving this killer and what connection he has with Jazz and Billy. Jazz conducts his own investigations, and ends up being a witness to one of the deaths that the Impressionist conducts to follow in Billy Dent’s first victims.
After his best friend is attacked by the Impressionist, Jazz forces himself to go and see his Father in an attempt to help with the investigation. The seemingly harmless conversation helps them save the would be victim of the Impressionist, so instead the Impressionist decides to confront Jazz and help him become the God he was born to be. Instead, the Impressionist ends up in a jail cell as his idol had before him.
By the end of the novel, Jazz experiences the biggest fear of his life: his father escapes prison and has hidden himself and only took an hour to kill his first victim.
The story, and images Lyga concocts inside Jazz’s head, are powerful and vivid. It’s haunting, and gives us a horrible idea of what it could be like to have a monster as a Father. It leaves the story open for a second book, and I will get a hold of it as quickly as I can. As hard as it was to read this book, I couldn’t put it down and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the story.