Barry Lyga is back with the next installment in his Jazz & Billy Dent series and if there one thing that Billy knows how to do it's how to play a good game:
Jazz found what it was like to be on the same side as the law as he helped the police track down a murderer in Lobo’s Nod however, since then Jazz has been craving something more, wanting to help more there are just not that many murders that occur in a small town. When a NYC police detective shows up at Jazz's door asking for his help, he would never refuse. NYC is being held in a strangle hold by the Hat-Dog killer whose killings are nothing like anyone has ever seen before, the murders make no sense and at times do not even seem to be connected. Jazz is thirsty for a new challenge but he never would have guessed how dangerous of a game he has entered.
I love the way that Laga's mind works (twisted amazing awesomeness that it seems to be) and the way he sets out the plot and multiple games that are played within this book is amazing, you never really know which turn he is going to take next and often it was one that you will not see coming. When I am unable to see something coming from an author in a plot, I know that I have found a winner in an author, and I have found this in spades with Lyga.
Lyga understands that the world is just a game to a serial killer, a game with real people as the pieces and always trying to stay one step ahead of law enforcement. It may seem slightly far fetched for a 17 year old to be approached to help on a NYC serial killer case, but Lyga does a fantastic job of making it feel like this is a real possibility. I mean why not use the best to catch the worst. Lyga is the real deal when it comes to serial killer novels and those who like adult or YA books will enjoy what Lyga has set out here.
I liked that there were more point of views from Connie as she struggles to not only be Jazz's girlfriend but to also help him see that he is not his father and that she is not going anywhere. It was also interesting to see Connie push the boundaries as what she believes in and really how far she is will to prove herself to Jazz. I also found that at times I was annoyed with Jazz as he does not know what he has in Connie but also it seemed like he did not take her seriously when she was trying to help with the case. There is no doubt that Jazz's up bringing gives him a unique perspective but he also does not realize that this causes him to be blind in certain aspects as well both in his investigative work and in his relationship. Jazz does grow as a character in this book as he learns some valuable lessons, some that are very dangerous and have permanent consequences. All the frustrations that I have with Jazz, he has with himself and Connie has with wanting to take their relationship to the next level, makes Jazz all the more real of a character that you want to root for.
This book did not end where I expected it to, talk about cliff hanger (Damn you Lyga, Damn you). I went to turn the next page and there was the acknowledgments part, I was thinking maybe I only got part of the book but saw that other reviews feel the same way as I do. Basically I do not think you can read this book and not pick up the third, I dont know what kind of reader would not want to continue on. There is so much unresolved in this book, and by unresolved I mean lives hanging in the balance that I need to pick up the next book ASAP.
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