In Barry Lyga's thriller novel, I Hunt Killers, Jasper Dent lives out his days constantly reminded that he's the son of a the notorious serial killer, Billy Dent. As if that's not bad enough, a new serial killer has emerged and he's following the footsteps of 'ol Billy.
There are the standard suspects and nerve-wracking scenes customary of murder mysteries, but Lyga adds quite a bit of depth to his main character. Jasper grew up learning the tricks of the trade. He knows how to evade the cops, erase evidence, drain the life out of a woman. His lessons come back to haunt him repeatedly through his father's voice. Jasper constantly fights the urges to give in to what could be a biological need to kill, but he still acts like a serial killer to mentally overpower the people, mostly women, around him and get his way. Jasper's wrestling with his inner demons and his father's past, in my opinion, is more gripping than the murder mystery.
I happened to be reading this and Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City at the same time. Devil is an account of 1893's World's Fair in Chicago and the work of serial killer "Dr. Holmes" who operated in the same area. It was interesting to compare Dr. Holmes' behavior to that of Billy and Jasper Dent. The information about the Fair was mostly interesting, but I'll be honest, I was more interested in the serial killer happenings.
Game, the sequel to I Hunt Killers, is due out in April 2013.
P.S. #SpoilerAlert The ending to I Hunt Killers floored me.