“The King of Killers” Comes to Japan

Game is coming to Japan, under the title The King of Killers! You can check out the cover — once again by the amazing Sky Emma — below.

Japanese editionAs with the Japanese edition of I Hunt Killers, the publisher has included an afterword by a prominent Japanese critic, this time Ms. Naomi Hoida. She writes (translated from Japanese):

Game is the second book of a trilogy which revolves around 17-year-old Jasper “Jazz” Dent, whose father is the worst serial killer of the 21st century.

I read the Japanese edition of I Hunt Killers early this summer. I confess, apologetically, that I might have underestimated it (a bit) as a “YA mystery.” However, I was totally blown away and fascinated by this one-of-a-kind thriller. The moment I closed the book, I began longing to know what would be going to happen next. Anyone who has already read it would relate to me and would thus join me in giving “thumbs up” on the launch of the Japanese edition of Game.

I Hunt Killers was a brilliant blend of the lyrical feel of a coming-of-age novel and a gripping, suspenseful thriller, which would probably sound antonymous.

The story opened as a female naked body was found in a peaceful town, Lobo’s Nod. Jazz, who was watching over the site full of cops, realized that it was the beginning of a serial killing. As the sheriff in charge didn’t buy his theory, Jazz began his own investigation – soon proving to be right. Having thoroughly trained by the most notorious serial killer of the century, Jazz was able to read criminals’ minds. He began using his skills to the fullest to chase the faceless murderer.

While you do see gruesome descriptions in I Hunt Killers, you would also notice the positive tone that runs throughout the work. This “fresh” feel owes much to the coming-of-age side of the story. It can never be easy to live as the son of a serial killer, especially in a small town where everyone knows who he is. However, Jazz has the courage to face the dark corner of his mind and tries to move forward. His struggling efforts cast a ray of hope on the work. I should also mention the contributions by Jazz’s friends Howie and Connie, whose sincere relationship with Jazz is a salvation for him.

And now we have Game. As the middle installment of the trilogy, the story develops and expands further, and it gets more thrilling.

Even if this is your first encounter with Jazz, you will do enjoy the story. To be honest, however, I recommend you reading I Hunt Killers first, so that you will have a better understanding of the masterfully woven plots and the deep concept of the entire series. This is far beyond a mere entertainment.

Several months since Jazz’s father broke out of prison, Jazz is visited by a NYC detective, Louis Hughes. The detective asks Jazz for help in investigating a series of murders by the “Hat Dog Killer”, who carves images of a dog or a hat into his victims. Hughes thought that Jazz would make a breakthrough in the investigation. Jazz wonders where or not he should go, but his instinct to hunt killers leads him to the Big Apple. As he looks into the case, he begins to find its connection with the copy-cat killer whom Jazz helped police capture in the previous book, and with his own father.

Game is a real page turner, and the coming-of-age tone seems to be more subtle compared with I Hunt Killers. However, you’ll find more character developments about Jazz’s girlfriend Connie, who follows Jazz to New York and involves herself in the case, and about Howie, who stays behind in Lobo’s Nod and helps Jazz in his own way. What further growth will they show by the time the trilogy reaches the end, and what about the story?

Having put down Game, I cannot wait to know what would be going to happen next. You feel so too? Good news, the Japanese edition for the third book, Blood of My Blood, is planned to be published in May 2016.

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