I was intrigued by this book because I am a fan of Lyga's previous work, which I adored. Having just finished off watching the entire show of Dexter and feeling more than a little unsatisfied with how things were concluded (that finale was terrible, am I right?!) I turned to I Hunt Killers to continue my thriller/horror binge.
The first thing I noticed, which I didn't know before starting the book is that Jasper "Jazz" Dent is in fact, not a killer hunter (at least, not the way Dexter is.) We get a clear understanding from the start that he is the son of a very infamous killer, and that now that his dad is behind heavily guarded bars, he is trying to live an almost-normal life. This is obviously impossible for a few reasons, but the main one is that the townspeople expect him to become like Dear Old Dad. When bodies start turning up, especially when the victims are murdered in strikingly similar way as his father's victims, people begin to assume that maybe Jazz is following his dad's footsteps. And unlike Dexter (I keep referencing back to the show because it was what I was mostly comparing it to at the time,) Jazz tries very, very hard to fight the urge of becoming exactly like his father.
Jazz is likeable, charming and I really grew fond of him, especially as we see him struggle with his inner thoughts of his old life, when he would help his dad. He's determined to find the killer, but of course, he's not allowed to because he is a 17 year old who has no business getting involved. Instead, he convinces his loyal best friend Howie, to help him uncover the killer. Howie is another character I also really liked, who was the comic relief in some of the more gruesome situations. A few other notable characters are Jazz's girlfriend, Connie, the town sheriff and Jazz's senile grandmother. They had minor parts in the story overall, but played significant roles in Jazz's life and his attempt at normalcy.
It took me a bit to get really into the book, maybe because I was expecting something else, but I was able to dive in after a few chapters. Once I got caught up with the story and the characters, it was hard for me to put this down. Lyga definitely created a captivating thriller, that is a lot of fun. There is definitely some gory moments, that might be a little too much for some readers, but I love the gore and couldn't get enough. This was raw and and a bit horrifying but it was well done and I was reminded of why I loved Lyga's writing so much.