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Dearly Devoted Dexter

Review by: 
Catwalk
Author: 
Jeff Lindsay
Genre: 
Horror
Publication Date: 
2005
Publisher: 
Black Lizard
Bottom Line: 
5

 Dexter Morgan:  Blood Spatter Analyst.  Voracious Eater.  Attentive Boyfriend.  Serial Killer.
 
Dark Avenger.
 
Maybe you’ve already met Dexter, either through author Jeff Lindsay’s first book in the series, “Darkly Dreaming Dexter”, or through the brilliantly written and fantastically acted Showtime series, “Dexter”.  Either way, there’s a part of you that understands who he is, maybe even relates to him a bit.  That part of you might be shocked at what Dex goes through in the second installment, “Dearly Devoted Dexter”.
 
In this novel, Dexter is burdened with a dark shadow (on top of his already eternal Dark Passenger) in the form of Police Sgt. Doakes.  Things have come to a head between the two of them and Doakes has had enough mystery.  He wants answers about who…or what…Dexter really is.
 
While the two play their cat and mouse game, which leaves Dexter heading down the path of couch potato of all things, a new killer emerges in Miami.  This one is particularly grotesque in his torture and treatment of his patients.  When bodies start turning up in grisly states of dismemberment, it is Sgt. Doakes whose dark secrets start coming to light.
 
Lindsay invites the readers along as Dexter flippantly traverses professional, personal and family relationship, lightly touching each but never enough to stick.  His use of alliteration and humor give Dexter a charisma that makes you want to call him “our killer” instead of “that killer”.  Despite what he might believe are his best intentions, Dex can’t stop himself from lending a helping hand repeatedly.  He may not be a hero, but his actions would say otherwise.
 
Lindsay draws the readers into Miami with detail on every level.  The roads are mentally mapped out; the food is on the tip of your tongue, and you may even imagine mosquitoes buzzing around your head.  It’s that same level of detail that goes into the twisted details of the villain’s work.  Eat light, if at all, while you read.
 
In the first novel, the majority of focus was on Dexter himself; a contrast to the series.  This time around, there is a greater shared focus as Lindsay expands outward a bit more, while never leaving Dexter’s skull.  It makes for a different flavor of emotions – for lack of a better word – with young Mr. Morgan.
 
From the first chapter, Lindsay establishes his writing style, and Dexter’s lovable persona, and keeps on the gas pedal until the final curtain.
 
The Black Lizard paperback bears a classic cover; simple but with character.  The true tasty treasure of torment and torture lies inside.  You could almost never tell by looking at it just how gruesome it can be.
 
Just like Dexter.
 

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