Another success in the "Dexter" series! Though not as spectacular as "Dexter by Design: A Novel" or "Darkly Dreaming Dexter," I would rank this book third in the series. Interesting new character developments for Dexter and Deborah following the amazing events in "Dexter By Design," that clean up those loose threads that left us hanging at the end of the last book, while also propelling the characters forward and bringing new life - literally - to the D siblings.
Twisted and bizarre killers like we always expect from a "Dexter" book, but also some pretty twisted and bizarre victims, that will certainly raise your eyebrows, if not turn your stomach, but will certainly keep you reading.
And a question left over from "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" decides it was time we had an answer...
Well, now that Dexter is the darling, doting daddy of Lily Anne, his newborn daughter, his psyche is taking more of a turn for the normal. After all, not only is he married, but he has a child now. Could anything be more human than that? So, Dexter is even feeling human emotion, at times, which is somewhat trying to his Dark Passenger, who yearns to get out and play. Of course, Dexter would not be Dexter, if there were not a situation that required his specific skill set.
When Dexter, a blood splatter expert, becomes involved at the behest of his detective sister with the disappearance of two teenage girls, all hell breaks loose. What Dexter discovers is not just an ordinary group of Goths with a vampire fetish, drinking blood, but a secret cabal of cannibals, ready and eager to devour human flesh.
Once again, Dexter is captivating. With sardonic humor and self-deprecating wit, he is quite amusing, even when faced with life and death decisions. Alas, his detective sister has become less so. In fact, as a character, I now find her one dimensional and downright tiresome. She is a one note joke, adding a discordant note to the book, as she has become unlikable. This is a shame, as she is a tie to Dexter's mentor, Harry, who enshrined the code by which Dexter and his Dark Passenger live.
Still, the book is enjoyable, overall, and fans of Dexter will not be disappointed. Readers will turn the last page of this book and find themselves eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
As a fan of the Dexter TV series, I recently read my first Dexter novel and was greatly relieved to learn that the two versions weren't carbon copies of each other. Sure, Dexter's sister is as foul-mouthed and bossy as ever; Dexter himself continues to remain unswervingly loyal to the family cause; and that the criminal mindset, Miami-style, is as creepy in the novel as on the big screen but, along the way, some subtle differences and surprises pop up to distinguish the two accounts. It seems that Lindsey the novelist is on a slightly different mission than Lindsey the screenwriter. Here, he wants to create a more decent Dexter who doesn't easily yield to the evil within him because he has so much to lose. In this novel, the reader will find a Dexter dedicating himself anew to becoming a better husband and parent while still retaining his ability to cunningly hunt down the evildoers and bring them to justice. I felt the personal conflicts in the novel format were more palpable than anything I've seen in the TV rendition. Dexter becomes a man who has to learn to maneuver between loyalties to family, himself, and his secret life and for that he mainly succeeds. Hence, this story spends a lot of time setting the domestic stage for the big event that will draw Dexter into a hair-raising adventure that has him tagging along with his sister in search of some missing co-eds and a gang of cannibals. It is in this bizarre setting that the reader sees Dexter trying to play by the rules in order to secure his future as a loyal brother, a committed husband, a loving father and a respected colleague, while all along keeping his dark side at bay. Only at the end, do we see him succumbing to the demons and it only comes across as a fleeting afterthought when he has become the hero in bringing the villains to justice.
Dexter is astonished that upon the birth of his daughter his homicidal instincts desert him for more... human... ones. Suddenly he wants to be Dex-Daddy, hang up his knives and steer Astor and Cody away from the dark path.
But life intrudes in the form of his sister and a possible kidnapping/murder case involving cannibals. And a figure from his past starts to become cozy with his family, leaving Dexter disoriented.
This is a lighthearted novel that examines the darker side of life. Like the others in the series, it's light on the gore and heavy on the lyrical writing. Unlike the previous books, Dexter develops actual feelings. It's fun watching him reevaluate life and try to understand emotions he's only faked before.
While the story gets predictable towards the end there were some good twists I didn't see coming, like an unexpected request by Deborah.
We open to find that Rita has given birth! Dexter has a daughter of his blood--- and Brian comes back to town, to ingratiate himself with Rita and the kids. Dexter finds himself resenting Brian, and protective of Lily Anne, the daughter he dotes upon.
Meanwhile, vampire club and cannibals? What is Miami coming to?
Two teenage girls go missing, and it becomes a race to find them, especially after a barbeque in the woods.
Interesting and twisted as always, but weird to see Dexter developing such a conscience -- parenthood can do strange things to all of us.
I would rank this book first in the series. I started it on a Saturday morning and finished it about 20 hours later. Literally unable to put it down. Be warned. I did love all the other books too, but this one is just off the charts as far as I'm concerned.
It has a little less of the duct tape/plastic bag action than some of the previous novels, but it's more complex IMO. The baby changes a lot of things in Dexter's life. Also, the criminals in this installment are even more spectacular than usual.