After reading the Millenium Trilogy (Girl Who Played With Fire, etc.) I needed a book to read. I read the first Dexter: Darkly Dreaming Dexter a few months back and enjoyed the first book which was so unlike the show that I actually forgot what the show was about. So I went back and began rewatching the Showtime series on Netflix. What I then realized was that, like the Millineum Trilogy, Dexter is a dish best served with prior knowledge. I watched every season of Dexter prior to getting the books. So I had a general understanding of disturbing Dexter. I knew that the writer seemed to be influenced by American Psycho, but probably pitched the book as, American Psycho with a conscience and a few very funny quirks, for a killer. I just finished the second book in the series Dearly Devoted Dexter.
In the second novel, Dexter utilizes the Harry Code to corral a killer that any person would understand has to die. I won’t give the crime away that Dexter has discovered, just realize that Mac Gregor and Reiker had to share time on Dexter’s table and under his moonlit demon’s gaze and blade. While the pursuit of MacGregor and Reiker consumes Dexter throughout the novel, one of my favorite characters on the Showtime series takes the wheel in torturing the Dark Passenger that is Dexter. Sergeant Doakes has his eye on Dexter which extends the pursuit of Reiker througout the text and lends itself to dark comedy in the narrative. Doakes’ watchful eye generates, slip ups and mistakes that the normally composed Dexter would never commit. Dexter finds himself on his mask’s doorstep and winds up engaged to his mask, Rita, who loves him unconditionally. The interesting turn in the text occurs with Dexter’s relationship with Cody who in the Showtime series is more talkative and not drawn as a potential heir to the Dark Passenger.
Dearly Devoted Dexter carries several storylines that make the book a fast, entertaining read. While the moments that are unintentionally funny are numerous, the primary plot introduces the history of Sergeant Doakes. This leads to one of the most memorable characters in villainy, Dr. Danco. Dr. Danco becomes the central nemesis for Dexter and Doakes in a dangerous, choppy game of cat and mouse. This plot is not very well developed and creates a story that seems a bit far fetched, but Dexter makes any moment that fails in verisimilitude acceptable.
Dexter may be an acquired taste for many. The comedic overtones are not found in lighthearted moments of insight through dialogue, but through the descriptive eye of Dexter. Which in my eyes makes Dexter okay… okay for a serial killer.
Author of Darkly Dreaming Dexter is Jeff Lindsay
Reviewer: Christopher D. Burns