Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Series: Dexter, #1
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Vintage Books (Imprint of Random House)
Date Published: July 20th, 2004
Meet Dexter, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing…a monster who cringes at the site of blood…a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likable: “he only kills bad people.”
Dexter Morgan isn’t exactly the kind of man you’d bring home to Mom. Though he’s playful and has a wonderfully ironic sense of humor, Dexter’s one character flaw (his proclivity for murder) can be off-putting. But at heart Dexter is the perfect gentleman, supportive of his sister, Deb, a Miami cop, and interested only in doing away with people who really deserve his special visit. Dex is quite good-looking but totally indifferent to (and, frankly, a bit puzzled by) the attentions paid to him by women. Despite the fact that he can’t stand the sight of blood, he works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police department, a job that allows him to keep tabs on the latest crimes and keep an eye open for his next quarry.
Dexter’s well-organized life is suddenly disrupted when a second, much more visible serial killer appears in Miami. Dex is intrigued, even delighted, by the fact that the other killer appears to have a style reminiscent of his own. Yet he can’t help but feel that the mysterious new arrival is not merely invading his turf, but reaching out to him as well. This new killer seems to be doing more than copying Dexter—he seems to be saying, “Come out and play.” Dexter’s secret life makes for a lonely existence…even a lovable monster can be intrigued by the prospect of finding a friend.
What a great book. I’m not typically one that goes for the crime thriller kind of novels but having heard about the TV show (I haven’t watched it yet though) and then reading the synopsis of the book being about a serial killer who only kills serial killers I knew I had to read it.
It’s strange having a protagonist who is so very much a bad guy (and I mean he’s seriously demented). But dammit, Dexter is witty, and charming and darkly humorous and you can’t help but justify his wrongdoings by thinking…well, at least he only kills bad guys right?
Perhaps it’s wrong to side with Dexter — he’s without a doubt a sociopath. But most of those who have read the books (and probably those who have seen the TV show too) can sympathize at least.
But anyways, back to Dexter. He’s not your typical protagonist and that’s what drew me to this book/series. I really enjoyed the mystery part of it and I had fun trying to put together who the other bad guy (not Dexter) was (and no, I didn’t really figure it out btw). But mostly I enjoyed Dexter’s personality. Even though he claims to be emotionless, he is quite the character and if it’s all him faking it then he’s gotten really good at it.
So anyways, this was great. I didn’t put it down much except for having to eat and sleep and whatnot, so that’s always a good sign for me. I am tempted to jump right into the next one, but we’ll see. Even if I don’t jump right into it next, it’s definitely on my list to continue this series. I seriously need some more Dexter!
P.S. After reading some of the reviews I’m tremendously glad that I read this before watching the TV show. It seems most of the negative/mediocre reviews are by those who watched the show first. So I’m glad I was able to enjoy the book a lot since I haven’t personally seen the show yet.
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