I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There's an episode of Criminal Minds where a teen asks Reid if he (the teen) could be a psychopath, and there's Wells' I Am Not a Serial Killer - both seem to have informed this book. That's not a bad thing, by the way. The difference here is that Jazz (Jasper) is the son of the worst serial killer in history, Billy Dent, and has been "trained" (aka brainwashed) by his father in how to be an even better killer than Billy ever was. That's quite an ambition for a father to have for a son, isn't it?
Problem is, while Jazz emphatically doesn't want to follow in Dad's footsteps his training has been so engrained that he thinks like a serial killer. And then a woman is killed in Lobo's Nod, and Jazz knows that this is the work of a serial killer even if the police don't believe him. Spoilers aren't needed because you can see where this is heading.
What saves this is the way in which Jazz fights his training and tries to be just another normal kid: having a girlfriend, acting in the school play, etc.. His best friend is a hemophiliac, which leads to some interesting moments. And that girlfriend, Connie, is one of those sassy, not putting up with anything girls.
Unlike Wells' hero John, Jazz looks to be headed for BAU (or CSI) territory. It'll be interesting to see if this becomes a series, and how that'll turn out.
ARC provided by publisher.