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on February 24, 2007
I saw the first season of the TV show and wanted to read the book. I was afraid that I either would not like the book or realize that the TV show was a cheap imitation. I was pleasantly suprised to see that I loved the book. Also, the TV show deviates enough from the book to make both entertaining.
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on July 20, 2004
Here's the deal: a good book writes its own review, triggering sufficient spontaneity to fill the page without reaching for bits of interest; this is one of those books, pushing aside all those mundane summer novels, leaving the reader with a satisfying, "Ah."
The attractively ghoulish protagonist is a sociopath and a murderer, but one with a "conscience", unfortunately an asset as manufactured as his other feelings. But Dexter does his best, given the circumstances. Brilliant and introspective, Dexter charms from the first page, even while distracted, dismembering his latest victim. What makes Dexter's extra-curricular activity bearable is the reason he kills: Dexter only chooses victims who have perpetrated foul deeds, those who would continue harming innocents if not stopped. To be honest, who hasn't secretly applauded the occasional vigilante who takes justice in his own hands, balancing the scales a bit?
Essentially passionless in his pursuit of evil-doers, Dexter is an elegant ghoul, fascinated by blood, the essence of human life. With the self-control of a recently sated vampire, Dexter is intelligent and thorough in his murderous pursuits. Like Rice's Vampire Lestat, this more human predator has a dark, romantic appeal, his dispassionate regard for "necessary" murders seductive and curiously erotic.
Dexter spends his days as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Dade PD, the perfect job for keeping up with current crime scenes and maintaining a cover, not to mention the chance to troll for other deserving victims. Lurking behind his public self, Dexter is as secure as a serial killer can be. Until another killer shows up, perfectly modeling Dexter's MO. Both anxious and intrigued, Dexter scents a challenge, another creature of the night that lives with a Dark Passenger, as he refers to his murdering alter-ego. But Dexter is torn; he covets this newcomer for himself, but has promised to help his half-sister policewoman solve the case in her bid to become a detective.
Suddenly events spiral out of control, Dexter's careless insouciance is a thing of the past, as he is pursued by dark dreams and chaotic nightmares. Like Alice in Wonderland lost in a psychedelic trance, Dexter tumbles down the rabbit hole. What he finds is completely unexpected, a twisted, deviant detour into horror, startling the man who has thought himself incapable of shock. One has to wonder about Dexter's powers of self-preservation, whether he is tempting fate and secretly wants to be caught.
Lindsay has delivered an inspired mystery, one that demands to be read, in one sitting if possible, the elegant Dexter speaking to the need for justice where often there is none. Can't help but smile at the young man's antics, dancing in the moon-drenched night with his own demons and skirting the edge of mayhem. With infinite grace, the author reaches into the dark heart of each of us, igniting atavistic memory, no doubt with a smile on his face. Luan Gaines/2004.
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on February 18, 2005
I have mixed thoughts on this book. On one hand, it was an entertaining read and once I started I could hardly put it down. The descriptions of the murders were good; specific enough so I knew what was going on but not so gory that I was stopped reading. On the other hand, the characters spoke in a trite, melodramatic way that drove me nuts. Dexter's internal dialogue was interesting and kept the plot moving along but every time Deborah came along I rolled my eyes and wished she be quiet.
If you're looking for an entertaining murder-thriller that's a quick read, this book is for you. For more cerebral murder-thrillers, I recommend Ian Rankin's John Rebus books.
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on December 11, 2010
While this book lingers in places it has it's good points with a killer storyline and realistic characters along with the perfect backdrop for the novel.

The book wasn't as gruesome as I expected it to be and Dexter's killing scenes are few and far between. Fans of the TV series will find that the storyline is very close to the first season only straying in minor bits and pieces.

Overall I gave the book a 4 star rating. It's a worth a look, especially for fans who are looking to discover more about Dexter.
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on October 18, 2011
Let me start by saying that when I started reading this series, I had not watched the TV show that they are based on. When TV shows or movies are based on a book or series of books, I always prefer to read the book before seeing the show or movie. I can honestly say that for this series, I enjoyed both.

In Darkly Dreaming Dexter, we are introduced to our protagonist when he is at his happy slashing best. We are given some background into who Dexter is and more importantly, why he is the way he is. His adoptive father Harry is a cop who realizes when Dexter is a teenager that there is something different about him. Dexter is a serial killer! Realizing that he will never be able to change Dexter, Harry instead crafts a serial killer code that Dexter must live by. Instead of running amok around the city of Miami, Dexter takes care of those who have escaped justice at the hands of the law.

How does Dexter get away with being a serial killer? Well on top of being trained by a cop, Dexter himself is a blood splatter analyst with the police department. Who better than to get away with murder than someone who spends his days investigating them? Joined by his adopted sister Deborah, who is also a cop, Dexter begins investigating a peculiar series of murders. Sooner rather than later Dexter begins to feel a certain affinity with his fellow artist.

Dexter really is the best anti-hero I have ever read about. I find myself, despite knowing that I probably shouldn't, always rooting for him. That is what is really special about this character. You know he is a killer. You know killing is wrong, no matter the reason. Somehow though, Jeff Lindsay has managed to create a character in Dexter that despite all of his perversion and murder, is just downright likeable. Dexter's sometimes bumbling attempts to fit in and appear normal are a large part of his appeal. He admits things in his inner monologue's that no one else would ever consider, and trust me, it's not just confined to the killing.

On it's own, the book is great. It is not laugh out loud funny, but gave me more than a few laughs with Dexter's dry sarcastic wit and macabre sense of humor. The plot moved along well, and Jeff Lindsay really found the perfect balance between past/present; giving some very good insight into Dexter's character. I must say that I was surprised by the ending, and that is not something that happens often.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 3, 2006
This is a remarkable debut novel, one in which the author has created a memorable character. So memorable is Dexter Morgan that he now has his own series on the Showtime cable network. What makes the title character so intriguing is that he is a serial killer working as a forensics blood splatter technician in Dade County, Miami, where, as a sideline, he metes out his own brand of justice. You see, Dexter, takes the law into his own hands, killing those who also kill but have gone unpunished by the law. Consequently, the author has created a killer that the reader actually likes and roots for.

Good looking and self-effacing, Dexter is the adopted brother of Deborah Morgan, a Miami vice cop with whom he works. She is trying to follow in the footsteps of her father, Harry Morgan, the Homicide cop that adopted Dexter at the age of four, after he was discovered in the aftermath of an unspeakable tragedy. It was Harry who sensed Dexter's strange proclivity and guided Dexter into channeling it in the way that it would be of benefit to law enforcement. Now, Dexter is trying to help his sister get promoted to Homicide by assisting her in finding a serial killer. It seems that since Dexter is one himself, he has an intuitive appreciation of the work of another. He also has a nose for sensing evil in others.

In this particular case, it goes beyond that, as Dexter finds himself confused by this serial killer whose style is strangely reminiscent of Dexter's own. In fact, this serial killer seems clued in to the fact that Dexter is one himself, leaving Dexter even more puzzled and somewhat unnerved by the fact that his secret may be out, despite his meticulous care in the public service that he clandestinely performs. Just who is this mysterious and almost mischievous serial killer, and how is it that he seems to so intimately know Dexter? That is what is at the crux of this novel.

With a well-plotted, slightly macabre story, narrated with quiet humor and intelligence by a fascinating central character, the author takes the reader on a walk into the dark side of humanity. While to Dexter's mind he lacks that sense of feeling that makes him as others are, the reader will find oneself liking Dexter and sensing in him that one thing that Dexter seems unable to sense, that very human desire to belong. As Dexter's life unfolds on these pages, the reader will be compulsively turning them, wanting to know more about Dexter. The author, his fondness for alliteration apparent, does not disappoint the reader, as he has written "Dearly Devoted Dexter", a new novel featuring our likable monster.
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on February 3, 2010
After watching two seasons of the series, which I adore, I found this book somewhat disappointing in comparison. I couldn't help but mentally point out the differences between the book and the series while reading it. Since the series had 13 episodes in the season to develop the characters, I found myself more attracted to the characters on the show, than the characters in the book. I found many times while reading the book I would simply skim over the lengthy drawn out interior monologue going on inside Dexter's head, because they simply were too long, and drawn out.

Overall, it's not a bad book, and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more had I not watched the TV show.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 17, 2009
Considering that the television series Dexter was loosely based on the book I don't know why people are so critical on this book. The book came first not the show! I saw the first 3 seasons of the show first before reading the book and was pleasantly surprised to find not only was the book quite different, but darker and gets more so over the following sequels. It's hard not to have preformed opinions on the book having seen the show first, but this novel is definitely a new fresh take on the tired old serial killer novel. The books are a really entertaining, often humorous and I've grown attached to the characters in the novels. Can't wait to read the fourth novel.
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on January 2, 2008
I ordered these books because I absolutely love the hit series. I have never been drawn to a television series the way I am with Dexter. After reading all three of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter novels (after I saw the first two seasons of the TV series) I must say that I was somewhat disappointed. I liked the fact that the characters were similar to that of the TV series and that the story line in the novel was slightly different (just for some variety); however, this book left me with unanswered questions. Having said that, I still read the book in less than a week and it was still a good read with humour and a gripping ending.
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on January 29, 2016
An interesting read, in terms of the perspective of a flat affect, no emotion, trying to pretend to be normal, killer of killers.

I'm not sure if it was stylistically intended, but other characters come across as cardboard cutouts, boring. Possibly this is due to Dexter himself lacking full insight into what drives them, moves them.

Plotwise, interesting, and it was a quick read for an afternoon.

I was a bit disappointed, as this had been recommended to me by others, both for the book series and the television series, but this just doesn't quite live up to the suggestions.
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