Age Range: YA
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publication Date: 03 April 2012
Genre: YA/ Thriller/ Murder Mystery
Rating: 5 Stars
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?
Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
First of all, the synopsis for the book does not do this story justice. I was not too impressed by the synopsis and was half expecting this story to be predictable and juvenile. To be frank I was expecting a half-baked murder story that had an easily predictable plot. Boy, was I surprised to find that this book was anything but. This story was gruesome, full of suspense, and artfully written. Barry Lyga created an amazingly horrific story, that I couldn't stop reading.
Jasper, Jazz, Dent was such an intriguing character. As far as YA characters go, he was by far one of the most complex and believable characters that I have read. Jazz is struggling psychologically throughout the book. The reader gets to see first-hand Jazz's struggles with whether or not he is a sociopath and will end up a murderer like his father. The author did such a great job of showing just how damaging a persons childhood can be. Over and over again the reader sees how Jazz's upbringing has shaped his responses to the people and things around him. His perspective is often unsettling and gruesome, and I found his perspective to be a unique and compelling way of telling the story.
Then there was the supporting characters and comic relief. While I really liked Jazz as a character, my favorite character was definitely Howie. Howie was such a funny and lovable character, his quips and one-liners were the perfect comedic break in an otherwise gruesome and gory story. Not to mention how good of a friend he was. I don't know about you, but I would not break into a morgue for my friends. Howie created the perfect balance of gruesome and wit to the story. In my opinion, Howie made this story.
One of the most interesting parts of the plot is that the book contains chapters from the killers perspective. These chapters were some of my favorite because it really upped the creepiness of factor and gave the reader some insight in of the killers thinking. I found it fun to try and guess the killer based on the observations Jazz made and the chapters from the killer's perspective. That being said I was completely wrong, and the book had a plot twist I did not see coming. Without giving too much away let's just say that this book will keep you on your toes.
My Thoughts on the Audio:
If you have the choice I recommend reading this as an audiobook. The narrator really did an amazing job of bringing the story to life. His tone and inflections really set the ambiance of the story, and the voices he did were really spot on. The voice he did for the serial killer was far better than I could have ever expected. I don't know how to describe it other than the voice was menacing and creepy; if I were to imagine the voice of a serial killer it would have been that voice. I can't recommend the audiobook highly enough, it is totally worth the time it takes to listen.