But worse than all of that are the terrible things he sees while he's sleeping. Things he thinks really happened. Things he's scared his father made him do.
Being Billy Dent's son means Jazz was groomed from infancy to be the world's most triumphant sociophathic serial killer ever. But Jazz doesn't want to be his father, even as he fears that's exactly who he's destined to become. So when bodies start piling up in Lobo's Nod again, Jazz throws everything he knows about killers and crimes into helping the police catch a killer who is closer to Jazz than he could ever have imagined.
This book is brilliant. I don't say that lightly. It's Dexter for YA: compelling, wise, disturbing, funny, insightful, beautiful, and horrific. All in one perfectly executed package. I found myself torn between tearing through the pages to see what would happen next and forcing myself to slow down so I could savor every perfectly crafted word.
Jazz is one heck of a hero. Tortured. Smart. REALLY smart. Scary, but redeemable. Honest in a raw, aching sort of way. The other characters are also fully realized and each add something indispensable to the story. In fact, while Jazz is a reliable narrator for the crimes and the steps it takes to catch a serial killer, he's an unreliable narrator when it comes to accurately seeing himself. He's too damaged, and too convinced that because he was raised to be a monster, he is one despite his best efforts. It's in his relationships with the other characters that the reader gains the true picture of who Jazz is.
We watch him take care of his grandma even though she throws hate his way more often than not. We see his relationship with his best friend (who is comedic relief and big-hearted foolish bravery all rolled into one), and it humanizes Jazz for us. And his relationship with his girlfriend Connie is one of the best things he has in his life. Eventually her certainty that he is redeemable starts to sink into his head even as it's already written in the reader's heart.
This is heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, spine-tingling fun--a rolicking ride through the dark underbelly of the human spirit and an achingly beautiful look at what the heart can endure and what it takes to triumph over oneself. It isn't a book for younger readers or readers who may be squeamish, but honestly, this is one of the best books I've ever read. I highly recommend it.