Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
- Imprint: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: April 3rd 2012
Format: Hard Cover
*Mood Music: Warm Shadows by Fink
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?
Number of Days It Took to Read: 3
This is a great cover. It caught my attention while I was in line waiting to get another book signed and thus began the pitch that I had to read it from a blogger pal of mine. I love books like these so why not, right?
The Writing Score: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: A Must Read
Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable
Rating: 5 out of 5
Wow, book. You were awesome.
I’d like to start off by saying that it’s been a long time since a book has messed me up emotionally (Oh, Mockingjay…good times) in that it was a) scary/creepy as hell and b) I had no idea by the end if I liked/trusted the main character who’s point of view we’re in.
Here’s the deal. Jasper Dent is the son of a serial killer. That alone should put you off because in real life, you wouldn’t be his friend. I’m talking real life and not “book life” where we get past everyone’s differences because let’s be honest…we’ve seen the scary movies and befriending the son of a serial killer should be on your list of “things to do to avoid a scary movie scenario”. With that said, I loved the way Lyga handled the character of Jasper. I was trying to play psychiatrist throughout the entire book trying to determine if Jasper was either:
- a sociopath
- his upbringing scarred him enough for him to become just like his dad
- he’s just had a shit luck in the parent department and is over thinking his motives too much
I can tell you that by the end…I was still wary of him. Jasper’s doubts become the reader’s doubts. There are times where you play the roles of Connie and Howie and tell Jasper that he isn’t (and won’t be) his father. Then there are times where you’re like, “Dude, I’m not sure that I should tell you where I live or, you know, talk to you anymore.” That’s probably why I love this book so much because it’s complex. Sympathy for Jasper isn’t easy and it’s something Jasper has to win back from us all the time which is kind of what he has to do in terms of getting and maintaining the trust from the people around him. It sucks because he’ll always have the dark shadow of his father over him just like the shadows we carry with us (i.e. our pasts).
The supporting characters were awesome. G. William Tanner is the fatherly sheriff that you want to spill your guts to. Connie is the “head smacking” that Jasper really needs sometimes. Howie…Howie just makes everything better and he’s really funny. Grandma Dent…is crazy as hell and there are times when you wanted to throw things at her.
Jasper holds all of the reader’s hopes (for him) and fears (of him) which makes a great combo. You’ll also be cheering for him to hunt down some killers while also hoping that, if he snaps, it’s when you’re not around.
A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.
*Mood music is this new thing I’ll be adding to the reviews (not all) where the song(s) I’m listening to at the time happen to fit the mood/theme of the book.