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Review: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Author: Jeff Lindsay
Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Series: Dexter # 1
Genre: Crime thriller
Source:Paperback Swap
Format:Mass papeback
Pub. Year: 2004
Purchase: Amazon/B&N

Book blurb:
Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened — of himself or some other fiend.

What I will remember: Dark humor that hits the mark.

I am a huge fan of the TV show, Dexter, so I really wanted to read the book that started it all. And I have not been disappointed. It is a great book that just needed a tighter finale. Nonetheless, a great sarcastic, dark humor infused book. We all know Dexter is a sociopath and he is a serial killer that is very charming with his quick wit that hides his true nature.

I find this book really interesting because it is entirely from the perspective of a serial killer instead of the (insert any government agency name here) agent that is trying to catch him. I say “him” because most serial killers tend to be men and most authors write serial killers as men. A woman is quite capable of being a serial killer as well. Since it’s from Dexter’s point of view, we are invested in him not being captured because he is the main character and without him, there is no book. Technically, as readers, we are on the wrong side of the law because we don’t want him to get caught. His sarcastic thoughts are very entertaining which make him charming. I love that we are the wrong side of the law because it’s refreshing for me and it’s reality. The fact is not all serial killers are caught and there is no reason why we shouldn’t read about it.

As the blurb says, someone is copying Dexter’s method of killing and Dexter is very interested in finding out who he is. The dilemma comes when he doesn’t know whether to turn the serial killer into the police or help him which is one of the main conflicts of the book. Dexter is fighting what he is, a serial killer, and what he portrays himself to be, a regular man. Lindsay does a great job of portraying the inner turmoil Dexter feels especially when his adopted family comes into play. For a serial killer who is not supposed to feel as much, he feels a lot because he is confined by the laws of Henry, who helped him control his Dark Passenger. The laws of Henry have helped keep Dexter under the police radar but he has a moment of doubt that is really thrilling.

The one problem I have with this book is the ending. It is tied up in three pages and it’s confusing at first plus it doesn’t help that details are left out. The details that are left out are implied in a way by what happened in the previous chapter. It still leaves a sense of confusion because it is up to the readers to figure out what truly happen. It ends with a funeral, I will tell you that. I’m pretty sure I understand what happened after reading it a few times. So, that’s my advice on the ending.


4.5 BB-Ready for capture