* Prices may differ from that shown
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the debut novel from Jeff Lindsay focusing around the somewhat psychotic vigilante Dexter in Miami. The novels have been adapted into the famous television show Dexter that some may know, and as I love the show, it was no surprise that I loved the books to.
It's targeted mainly at adults, pretty much due to it's subject matter and can be found on Amazon for around £2.
The plotline of this mainly revolves around painting the picture of Dexter, a blood splatter analyst in Miami Metro who seems like a normal regular guy who works in the police station. However, Dexter has a secret as he is not like everyone else, and he is in fact a serial killer. But with the twist that he only kills those that deserves it. Throughout the novel you get to see how he manages to get away with this, how he hides his bodies and how he manages to portray himself as such an ordinary guy while having this secret hobby.
However, we don't just follow Dexter around, we also see how Miami Metro deals with a certain new killer called the Ice Truck Killer. Not only do they have the police stumped on who they are, but they also are intriguing Dexter and his Dark Passenger with the taunts left for him at each murder site..
I didn't feel as if the plot slowed at any point, as there was always something new happening (generally a murder, but still something!). It is written in a way that definitely keeps you reading and on the edge of your seat.
The novel is written from the first person perspective of Dexter which I quite enjoyed as it is interesting seeing the darker sides of these murder cases and his musings. He is quite funny at times which I enjoyed throughout, while it is quite a dark sense of humour! But I enjoyed his character enough to keep wanting to see his views on the world and the reasons for why he does what he does.
In terms of writing, he isn't gruesome in any way that you would expect it to be, the murders written in a way that even the squeamish will be able to handle.
The main focus was on Dexter from this novel, and I felt that I only really was able to know about the supporting characters through watching the show as they are hardly really developed in the story and you don't know much about them or grow attached. But Dexter provides enough amusement and interest throughout the novel that you don't really mind.
I really liked the television show, so thought there was a possibility that I would not like the book enough because of this. But it turns out that I did quite like the novel, as it kept me interested and I didn't really think that watching the show first managed to ruin it in any way. The show sticks to this book quite a bit, but the book is different enough to not be boring and just follow it exactly.
Overall, I think this is definitely a great debut novel from Jeff Lindsay into the Dexter series. Even if you are a huge fan of the television series, I think the books will also be a favourite. Dexter is a great character that manages to be so interesting and humouros throughout the novel, you can't help but to read on and find out what's next for him.
I started off watching the TV series and I had just finished season 6 of the series before I picked up this book; the first in the series of books and the only one where the story is similar to one of the TV series'.
Series 1 of Dexter is based on this book, and for anyone familiar with the "Ice Truck Killer" story from the TV series, you will be intrigued as to how the book tells the story.
The book starts off showing the reader exactly what Dexter gets up to in his spare time(Dispatching wrongdoers who have escaped through the justice system, having been found not guilty of a crime they definitely committed). Dexter is meticulous in his methods, going to great lengths that his late foster father had taught him to ensure that he wouldn't be caught for his crimes and also making sure that the person who would end up on the wrong side of Dexter was 100% guilty.
Dexter is a blood spatter analyst working for Miami Homicide, unusually for his line of work, he hates the sight of blood. When bodies start to turn up with all the blood drained out of them and nice clean cuts, he becomes fascinated. Fascinated even more so, when the killer starts to toy with Dexter, to the point of trying to get him to play with him in some sort of sick and twisted game...does the killer know Dexter in some way?....Well I'm not about to give the major plot away in this review am I?
The book introduces us to the main characters, some of them you will recognise, if you are a fan of the show. Dexters adopted sister Debra, working in Vice at the start of the book. Migdia LaGuerta, Dexters boss who also has a thing for Dexter. James Doakes, a detective who is the only one in the department that gets the creeps from Dexter. Angel no-relation Batista, a forensic scientist(fans of the show might be a little disappointed at the small role he has in the books and the difference in job titles). Vince Masuka, lead forensics investigator with a darkly perverse sense of humour. Rita Bennett, Dexters girlfriend, someone to make him look and seem like a normal person.
Overall this book did not disappoint, despite the differences between the novel and the series. I am looking forward to starting the second book in the series to find out where the characters are going and what different path the story is going to take from that of the TV series.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Anyone who knows me will know that I have read true crime and crime fiction for thirty years. I don't consider myself an expert but with that in mind I was curious as to how I would find Jeff Lindsay's debut novel. I had already watched the first episode of the TV series and decided to put that on the back burner as I was too busy at the time. I now have the first four seasons and have yet to watch them. I wanted to give the books a go first.
I found that first episode of the TV series annoying as the narration grated on me after half an hour. I must admit I wasn't in the mood and was very tired at the time and not knowing the characters wasn't in the best place to judge. I did, however, think that the narration would work a lot better in the novel and hoped that it was told from a first person perspective.
I'm glad to say that it was and it does work a lot better.
Dexter Morgan is the stereotypicalgood egg and all round good guy. Eager to please and willing to help. He works at the crime lab for his local police force where he analyses blood splatter and everything that the red stuff pertains to.
To an outsider he is a likeable guy who keeps himself to himself. He has a girlfriend, though not much is known about her by his work colleagues.
His step sister is a police officer and his only real friend.
You see, Dexter doesn't have friends, so to speak because Dexter doesn't count himself as human. Well, not human in the true sense of the word anyway because Dexter has a very different hobby.
He is a serial killer who has killed over thirty people and he loves what he does. He likes to torture and maim and make his victims suffer.
The thing that makes Dexter really different, especially from other serial killers, is the fact that he only kills people who are corrupt or bad or don't deserve to be walking around amongst the living. Paedophiles, rapists, child murderers to name but a few of Dexter's preferred play things. Dexter is fastidious in the controlling of his inner self, his demon and the other him that he likes to call hisDark Passenger.
The first book centres on another killer who starts to taunt Dexter and apparently knows what Dexter does. It is a game Dexter is only to willing to play but how far can he go without raising suspicion from his work colleagues, girlfriend and sister?
I enjoyed this book but thought there was a little too much comic relief about it. I suppose this was done to hold back the obvious bible-bashing groups that would have ripped it to shreds had it been of a darker nature. This being the case it almost feels as if Lindsay wimped out. The title suggests that it is dark but doesn't allude to the comically dark side of it or give any indication that it is essentially a black comedy.
For all intents and purposes Lindsay does deliver a good yarn and it does do what it says on the tin in that the subject matter is quite dark and risque even though the comedy stifles it a little.
The character of Dexter Morgan is well drawn and actually believable but let's not kid ourselves here; we read fiction to escape the everyday drag that is life and if stories all mirrored real life, then just how boring would they be? The book is far fetched yes but any fan of Doctor Who will tell you that you have to embrace it to enjoy it. Thankfully, from my point of view. the story is nothing like Doctor Who but it does have that comic edge to it that can be amusing as well as annoying. Dexter's wit and sarcasm exudes from his every pore and you do begin to think that it is impossible for him to hold a normal conversation.
The storyline is not bad but I felt the end was a bit weak. Actually, I'll rephrase that; it was not that it was weak as much as unlikely. I don't mean unlikely as in 'That just wouldn't happen', I mean unlikely to me because of the way his sister reacts to it. All the way through the book she has certain mannerisms and a code she works to and follows. At the end of the book she makes a decision that I feel would be totally opposite to what she would do. Moralistically she changes dramatically at the end of the book and it just seems like this character wouldn't have done that.
LaGuerta Dexter's and his sister's boss and essentially his on the case is also drawn out pretty well. She's the bra-burning super bitch who lets no one stand in her way. She's the character that you love to hate.
Another character that is sure to be prevalent in the future novels is Sergeant Noakes. He absolutely hates Dexter and knows something is not quite right about him. He enjoys telling Dexter 'me and you, one day, me and you'. They are bound to clash big time in later novels and it should be good when they do.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is an easy book to read and at just under three hundred pages is not overly long. Jeff Lindsey is obviously a good writer and for a debut novel (see author bio below) he can be nothing but proud of himself.
My wish for future books is that Lindsay decides on whether or not to make it an out and out black comedy or makes it darker and more terrifying, hopefully the latter.
Jeff Lindsay lives in Cape Coral in Florida in the United States. Lindsay is his pen name and his real name is Jeffry P. Freundlich. Before writing the Dexter series he wrote many plays, which have appeared at many fine theatres across New York and London. He did write many books before the Dexter series but Darkly Dreaming Dexter was his first hit and is considered to be a debut as the other novels were written under another pen name.
He is married to the niece of Ernest Hemmingway, Hilary Hemmingway, who is an author in her own right. No pressure to succeed there then Mr Freundlich.
On October 18th 2011 the sixth book in the Dexter series was released and was an instant hit.
The books have developed a cult following and along with the TV series have ensured that Lindsay will be remembered as a writer.
The Dexter Novels
Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Dearly Devoted Dexter
Dexter in the Dark
Dexter by Design
Dexter is Delicious
Would I recommend Darkly Dreaming Dexter? The answer is yes, but I would be very wary of comparing it to the TV series. Let the book speak for itself. If you have already seen season one of the TV series then I think it would be interesting to read it and see how much of it was actually used for the small screen. Seasons two and Three have their own storylines and do not follow the books so it is worth noting that if you are a fan of Dexter, then getting the books gives you the best of both worlds in that you have something different in the books than the TV series or vice-versa.
Copyright Lee Billingham
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first in the series of Dexter novels by author Jeff Lindsey. This novel was published in 2004. So far by 2011 six Dexter novels have been created by Jeff Lindsey.
My first introduction to Dexter was the TV series in 2006. After the second series I learnt that the program was based on a novel. I am not much of a reader however due to the program I was drawn to finding out more.
Once I started reading I quite literally could not put it down. Jeff Lindsey has created a novel of such detail that you really get to know the character and his feelings. The storyline draws you deeper into the novel keeps you constantly guessing what's going to happen.
I believe that by watching the series first it really added to my experience of the book, this is because as I read all I could envisage was Michael C Hall (plays Dexter) narrating the book to me. I could really picture the character and his movements, his thoughts, his feelings. Although this is partly down to watching the show without question the credit has to go to Mr Lindsey.
Dexter Morgan is a bloody splatter analysis working for Miami Metro Police. Now although that sounds quite tame and boring its Dexter's extra curricula activities that really matter. Forensics by day, murder by night
Dex is Miami's resident serial Killer, but don't be alarmed or think he is a bad guy really he is not and I dare anyone to read this and say he is not a nice guy. Dexter has a code of conduct taught to him by his deceased cop foster father Harry Morgan. Dexter only kills bad guys. I won't say anymore about the story as I don't want to ruin it for you.
This novel completely captures your mind; it enthrals you into the action. I have never read a novel that really grabs my attention like this one did. Jeff Lindsey has created a stunning novel that introduces you to Dexter's world. It has everything crime, thrills, sex, humour, a unique sense of justice and most of all it really makes you think what will Dexter do next?
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has an interest in crime, or likes to read a mind bender. Because of its long standing stature and Jeff Lindsey continues to publish new stories for Dexter this novel brings you hours and hours of entertainment. Personally I feel as you read and learn more of Dexter you start to get attached to him as you see him grow and learn more about himself.
Amazon paperback £3 - £5 Kindle £5
The show time tv show dexter, after watching all four seasons had me gripped from the beginning till the end.
Its brutality, honesty and dark humour made it on of the best tv shows I had ever seen. Therefore, when I found out the show was based on a book, I went out and bought it straight away.
The book follows dexter morgan (as the title suggests!), a blood splatter analyst who hates blood. He works for the miami dade homicide department and is shocked and astounded by the beauty of a murder which Is found drained of all blood.
His fascination continues as you gain an insight into how this demented serial killer thinks and acts around the world. His disguise is one of the most interesting parts of the book as dexter tries to fit in by dating and acting normal.
Fellow viewers of the show will recognise the story and the first series did follow a very similar plot line to this book. However, the subtle changes and unique narrative style still make it s book to read.
Overall, this is a menacing book not for the light hearted due to its subtle and obvious brutality.
Having decided that I needed some more books to read I consulted the charity book list at work (books for the bargain price of 25p) and came across "Darkly Dreaming Dexter". I was aware that there is a TV series called "Dexter", so consulted Amazon to see if this was the same thing, and found that it was!
I haven't ever seen the TV programme but have heard good things about it and decided to give the book a go, as I'd found that "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" was the first in the series (I didn't want to come in having missed something) which is what the first series of the TV programme was based upon.
The author Jeff Lindsay (pen name) is American - more can be found about him here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Lindsay_(writer) He has written five books in the Dexter series (one hasn't been published yet) among other things.
"Darkly Dreaming Dexter" was published in 2004, and my copy has 275 pages (so not really very long) - it also has an rrp of £3.99 which isn't much these days as the full price!
Dexter is a forensic blood splatter pattern analyst working for the police in Miami. He is also a serial killer - however he only kills people who deserve it (child killers and the like), so that's ok then! I suppose it helps the reader to like Dexter as a character despite the things he does.
Dexter is some sort of psychopath or sociopath (I'm not really sure if he'd actually fit that diagnosis, I'm not a medical professional) and doesn't have normal human feelings and emotions. However he is quite fond of his sister Deb who is the only person on earth who cares about him. His adoptive parents (Deb's biological parents) have both died. Dexter was close to his adoptive father Harry who also worked for the police (and Deb does too), but who knew about Dexter's tendency to wanting to kill. As the story progresses we lean about Dexter's relationship with Harry, and also how he became who (or what) he is - a severe childhood trauma at the age of three, and it seems to be basically saying that Dexter's fate was inevitable. He has what is referred to as a "Dark Passenger" in his head which leads him to feeling the need to kill.
A serial killer is on the loose (killing prostitutes) and Deb's on the case (undercover dressed as a prostitute) desperate for a promotion. Dexter has a certain admiration for the killer who disposes of the body parts in a very clean manner (no blood at all, which means he hasn't got much a role as blood splatter analyst!), and it's quite similar to how he kills. Deb asks Dexter for his help, and he does want to (he is fond of Deb after all), but the question is who will get to the killer first, and what will happen then?
Despite being a killer, Dexter is a likeable character, although some might struggle to come to terms with his lack of emotions. Other characters perhaps we have less sympathy for, but then that's because the story is coming from Dexter's perspective (it is written in the first person). Detective LaGuerta in particular isn't particularly likeable, and Dexter's girlfriend Rita (yes, he actually has a girlfriend - it's for show really!) - well I suppose we just don't really know enough about her to form an opinion. Perhaps we'll learn more in the sequels.
The style of writing is quite different from anything I've read before, but then that's not surprising since it's coming from the killer's perspective. I suppose when I think about it the book "American Psycho" is similar in some ways (although it's so many years ago I read that I don't really want to make too many comparisons), but then it's also completely different. From what I remember, "American Psycho" is FAR more graphic and shocking. "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" isn't really any more shocking than any other book involving murders and it certainly didn't make me squirm! And of course although to an extent Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" does have a certain charm about him, at the end of the day he's not really a likeable character as he kills innocent people. Dexter is more likeable as a character as he kills those who deserve it!
The title of this book and the other books in the series use alliteration, and this is frequently used throughout the book, with Dexter referring to himself as "dear dark Dexter" - this sort of thing can get annoying if overused, but I felt that Jeff Lindsay got the balance just right. I enjoyed the unusual style of writing.
I did enjoy reading this book, although perhaps it was slightly slow in its early stages. However, things did pick up and by the end I was gripped, desperate to know how it was going to end! I really enjoyed the climax and the twists at the end, and although I thought I was going to be disappointed with the ending, I wasn't! I do feel though that the book could have been slightly longer, particularly with more detail towards the end.
If any more of the Dexter books appear on the charity book list then I'll definitely get them, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to get them despite "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" being an enjoyable read. However, next time I see the programme advertised on TV I will definitely give it a go - I need another TV series to get hooked on!
About nine months ago I read my first novel by Jeff Lindsay featuring an usual character called Dexter. I was unsure to be honest what I thought of it, so I was keen to try another one and see if the writers' style either grew on me or turned me off his work completely. Admittedly it took me long enough to get round to it. Since then I have even seen an episode of this on television.
==About the author:==
Jeff Lindsay was born in America on July 14th 1952. However I should point out this is not his real name, that is Jeffry P. Freunlich. He is best known for his Dexter series of novels, which have now very successfully been transferred as above to television. He has written eight novels, of which the last four have featured Dexter as the lead character.
==Synopsis of the book:==
Dexter Morgan is a monster with the manners of a stylish gentleman. To all intensive purposes he has a run of the mill lifestyle, some would say even a little dull. He works for the Miami Police Department in a lab and has a long-term steady girlfriend. The only odd thing about him is he is a serial killer and not even his girlfriend knows about this hobby of his.
However, there is another serial killer at large in Miami preying on Prostitutes. Dexter philosophy is he will only kill unconvicted killers, so this new kid on the block certainly takes his interest. Especially as his sister Deb who works for the Police, is currently posing as a Prostitute in an attempt to capture this man.
Dexter is a very organised, practical and tidy monster, but even he is impressed by this new guys style. As part of his ritual he chops up the bodies very precisely and ensures no blood is left with the body. After the second such mutilation Dexter starts to feel this is getting too personal and the killer is actually taunting him in some way. In an attempt to bring him out into the open and try and complete with him. But what can be his motive for this?
==My thought on the book:==
My overall feeling about the book was I did not enjoy it. But it was certainly not as clear-cut or simple as all that however, but that is my balanced view on it. In truth there were aspects of it I really loved and enjoyed but these were outnumbered by the factors that I did not enjoy or like.
This thriller is the first in the series featuring Dexter as the smooth, cultured monster. It was published in 2004 and was an instant success and nominated for the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar award in the Best First Novel Category.
With this being the second novel about Dexter that I have read, the first being 'Dearly Devoted Dexter', I think I knew roughly what to expect. On balance I enjoyed the first one as I found it so utterly different from another I had read before. So going back for a second read of these books I did not have that luxury.
I was hoping and expecting by now reading the first book in the series that I would form a better understanding about Dexter. How he came into being if you like, why he felt the need to kill and why he lacked emotion. This book did talk a little about his experiences with his adopted father and his sister, but for me it did not answer these questions, so I was very disappointed not to know.As having read two of these books now I feel I should understand the character's background by now.
The storyline itself was neither fascinating nor intriguing and in many ways it was slightly predicable. But then I suppose it very difficult to make tracking down a serial killer unique and fresh when it has already been done and even by Dexter in his other books. But it was unusual and that in itself is an admiral quality.
The story did I think get better the further I read into the book but it was slow going and my interest was hardly aroused by it. I had to force myself to sit down and read it, which is unusual for me as I usually really look forward to my reading time. This book never really caught my imagination. Although I liked the angle that Deb Dexter's sister was at risk from this serial killer and his reaction to it.
The pace did improve and the climax to the novel was quite exciting and full of mystery with a good twist that I was not expecting to add a bit of spice to the conclusion. The ending surprised me but I think by doing it, it sets the scene for future Dexter books and possible future ideas and stirylines.
I really struggle with the cutting up or mutilation if you like of human bodies. I think that in a way this is because the author is excellent at describing these scenes. Which is great if you like gore but awful if you don't. At least in this one generally they were dead when the butcher started his work. I remembered this feature from the previous novel and I do find it hard to read about this.
In many ways I struggle to relate and understand Dexter. I think this is because he has this dark side that makes him a killer. I struggle to relate to this mentality and his lack of compassion, feeling and a conscious. He even struggles to have feelings for either his girlfriend or his sister.
On the positive side, he is unique and a very charismatic creature. Able to charm sometimes without realising it and all he comes into contact with especially it seems women. I enjoy the entertaining interplay between him, his girlfriend and his sister. Basically because in many scenes with them he does not have a clue how to act and how to read women, this makes the situations very funny and on several occasions he had me in hysterics.
That is a constant theme within the novel the humour. It is what makes the book worth reading at all. Dexter is great at it especially when he is trying to be serious or just gets the wrong end of the stick. Even in the most unlikely settings there are some very amusing lines.
Even at murder scenes or when someone was making an important speech you can rely on Dexter to say or do something very funny. He lacks the social graces and quite often misjudges a serious situation such as a murder scene. Making all those around him angry or confused by his actions.
I thought the quality of the authors writing was very good. I liked his descriptions and the way he set the scenes and how he dealt with the lack of Dexter's feelings. It amazes me the author can relate to well to this character and he makes him an amazing character and one who is different from any other I have ever known.
From that respect it was great, but I question the depth the author employed within his writing. In some ways this writing was predictable and lacked imagination when dealing with these crimes. Forgive me for saying it but in some ways his work lacked flesh on the bone, with a lack of background and solving crimes through conventional Police methods, he did it by feelings and surely that is not enough to solve crimes even for Dexter.
The books length was a little on the short side, I would have liked the pulsating final chapters expanded. So that there were more explanation, allowing greater understanding for the reader as to what had happened and why. Concluding how everyone effected felt about that and possibly a little introduction about what will happen in the next book featuring Dexter.
I don't recommend this book as a worthy read if you are looking for a well thought out crime novel. It lacked depth and the story was quite simplistic. However, if you want a lighthearted read that will make you laugh this could be the book for you. I do not think this author's style is for me too gory on the whole and hard for me to relate to, so I think this will be the last Dexter novel I will read. I must try the television programmes again, as I think that will be an interesting angle of him.
Publisher: Orion books
About the author: www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/jeff-lindsay
Thank you for reading.
This review is published on both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.
@CPTDANIELS August 2009
Before last month I had never read a book by Jeff Lindsay and now I have read all 4 in the Dexter series! I think that tells you something in itself. The Dexter series is highly addictive. Be warned.
This is a thriller/crime fiction book about Dexter Morgan a forensic blood spatter analyst by day and a serial killer by night! His sister Deborah is a cop and he helps her solve crimes despite his extra curricula activities and he is very good at it. His 'dark passenger' who is basically his alter ego who controls his killings gives him a great insight into other criminal minds.
This book keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through wondering whether they will ever solve the crime with Dexter's own mission on the sideline where he kills in true vigilante justice.
The way Lindsay has created Dexter's character means you empathise with his killings and enjoy them too.
The first ever loveable serial killer Dexter. Highly addictive enthralling read. Please Jeff write some more!
Firstly I should start by saying that I just never read fiction - but Jeff Lindsay has changed all that! I was familiar with the TV series 'Dexter' and this book is what the first season is loosely based on. The storyline zips along and draws you right in. This is the kind of book that you could start in the morning and just keep on reading 'till it's all done! It really is such a compelling read. Lindsay keeps the reader on the edge of their seat and manages to creat real tension and excitement. However. perhaps the best part of the book is Dexter and his fabulous sardonic commentary. There are times when you really want to laugh at loud at his warped observations. His own particular sense of what's right and wrong has to be read to be believed. Not a book for somebody who lacks an even slightly dark sense of humour but if you have you will not regret buying this book.
I said in a previous review of Jeff Lindsays' books on Dexter that I would have to read some of the others in the right order to see if it made it any better. Loe and behold I have kept my sacred promise and surprisingly enough I have actualy changed my mind about it.
You may have heard of the series which is one of the best american dramas going around at this moment in time. Don't let that stop you from reading this book though, because although it is just as good!
Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter pattern analyst. Basically meaning he looks at how blood is positioned after a murder to work out the basics as to where the killer may have stood etc. He has a dark secret, one that his step dad Harry taught him- to curve his homicidal tendencies he moves him into the direction of only killing those who wrongfully killed others.
Not exactly an ideal suggestion but still, one that keeps innocent people from harm. Dexter continuously refers to the things he has learnt as the code of Harry.
He has managed so far to keep things well hidden but cannot help but be a little impressed when a new serial killer appears, whilst most people stand back in horror as to what is happening, Dexter is impressed with the way the killer is going about terrorizing the prostitutes of Miami. The Tamiami Butcher, as they have called this murderer has also turned his attention towards Dexter, sending him messages which no one else has seen.
Dexters' sister Deborah, also a cop wants to break free into the world of homicide and expects Dexter to help but there is so much more which is at stake that his help is not always something he wants to lend...
I am impressed with the way this book has swayed me from what I felt was a disappointing series. It keeps up with the somber way of how Dexter was born-making him seems emotionless towards others, keeping in touch with his dark passenger, the voice who tells him what he should be doing.
This is the first of 4 I believe and is a snip at £5 from amazon. It is well worth a look, if just to compare it with the series. This book is what the first series of Dexter was loosely based on which is easy to pick up on.
It is a good read and well worth the money, something which, if you enjoy a crime story is right up your street!
Having watched the television series, Dexter recently I came across the book and decided to give it a whirl.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a book by Jeff Lindsay and is about Dexter Morgan, a serial killer. Dexter cannot control the fact that he needs to kill. He calls the force that drives him to kill his Dark Passenger, and when the Dark Passenger is awake he has no say in the matter.
Dexter was fostered at 3 years old by Harry Morgan and his family. Harry was a cop, a very good one, and soon realised Dexter was "different". Instead of turning him in, Harry made Dexter promise to only kill those who "deserved it", and to be clean, neat and above all fit in. Dexter calls this The Code of Harry.
Dexter doesn't have any feelings and certainly doesn't consider himself to be wholly human, but he has developed all of these characteristics to "fit in" as per Harry's Code. He even has a girlfriend, whom he has been seeing for over a year. Dexter also has a "normal" job, well it's a job anyway! He works as a blood spatter annalist for the Miami police, which of course allows him access to all sorts of cases.
Unfortunately, we learn that Dexter is not the only serial killer in Miami. Someone is murdering prostitutes, cutting them up and displaying them in various places. Deborah, Dexter's foster sister, is a cop and is working vice, but is desperate to work homicide and so asks Dexter to help her. Will Dexter be able to help Deborah solver the murders and will he actually want the killer to be found by police?
There are lots of twists and turns in this book and it's a fantastic idea to make the hero of the book a serial killer. Someone who we know is killing people himself, but that we kind of feel an empathy with as he is killing "people who deserve it", not that this is right, but it feels ok (if that makes sense!).
I had watched the television series and so thought I knew the storyline, but the book is quite different to the series and that was really good for me as I really didn't know what would happen in the ending.
I love Dexter's musings about humans and their emotions, and his very detached and humours view that follows.
The ending, as mentioned before was different to the television programme, and it did actually leave me slightly confused. I even re-read the last few pages to make sure I hadn't skipped anything. It is left quite open.
Ultimately it is a novel that has a lot going for it. It never looses its pace or suspense and contains enough humour and insights to be very engaging. I am really looking forward to reading the second book.
Written by Jeff Lindsay this book is a crime thriller with a twist. The main character works for the police analysing blood from various cases. He is a normal man with a normal job and a normal gilfriend, but in his spare time, he is a serial killer himself.
But dont worry, on his foster dad's instructions, he only kills people who he feels deserve it.
When some strange murders happen in Miami, where Dexter lives, he becomes fascinated by them and yearns to find the killer whom he feels he has a special bond with but he's not sure why.
Wont say anymore since it would ruin the story. Now go and read it! It is a brilliant book that I could hardly put down once i'd started. I havent seen the tv show yet but would like to after reading this. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers, as I do.
Darkly dreaming Dexter is the first of the triple set of 'Dexter' books and what a great book it is from the beginning you get a view into the eyes and mind of a serial killer. What's interesting about this novel is that the serial killer is actually a blood splatter expert working for Miami forensics department. Through the book you get one view point from the 'normal' Dexter the law abiding Dexter but then you also get a view point from what Jeff Lindsay describes as 'the dark passenger'. The dark passenger is the other side of Dexter the side that kills but 'the dark passenger' doesn't kill innocent people he sticks to a strict set of rules, which through the book you find were given by his foster father Harry. He only kills people who deserve it and really do deserve it like right from the beginning the kill of the priest that has 'interrupted children and killed them'
The set of books Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter, and Dexter in the Dark have now been produced into a Showtime TV series which has won many awards including the 2007 IGN award 'best story line' this shows how good the novels are and are strongly suggest reading them even if you've already seen the series I guarantee you'll be engrossed from the first paragraph.
When writing a novel from a first person point of view you have to make the character, whose mind the reader is stuck in, attractive. In the case of Dexter, this is the case. Dexter is a blood specialist working for the Miami police so part of his role is getting close to grisly crime scenes. However, it is not the job that defines Dexter but his hobby - murder. You see Dexter is a Serial Killer who only kills other Serial Killers. This is meant to make us believe he is not all bad as he only kill those that deserve it.
In the case of 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter' a killer is on the loose who likes to chop up women of the night and wrap them in perfect parcels for the police to find. Can Dexter find the killer and help his sister get a promotion and why does the killer seem to have a style close to Dexters?
This book begins very strongly as the central concept is a good one. We are given enough information about Dexter for us to understand his motives but still allow plenty of room for him to develop. The book takes a serious nose dive around the last third as Dexter starts to get visions of the killings happen. This does not work for me as this is a piece of crime fiction and not sci-fi. Also the ending is overly rushed, undermining the good work Jeff Lindsay made in developing the supporting characters.
The promise for future books is good as the setting is ready for more adventures. If Lindsay could improve his story structure and make Dexter slightly more believable this series could run and run.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is my favourite kind of book...a free one! Received as a mystery gift from a book club I approached this crime/thriller with some trepidation. It was by Jeff Lindsay, a new author I had never heard of in a genre I find rarely engages.
Luckily for me this is not your typical crime/thriller (if it had been I would not have got halfway). This is largely down to the main protagonist of the novel Dexter. This dark anti-hero is a Blood Analyst for the Police and serial killer. Fortunately, he only kills what his Uncle Harry called " The Bad People".
Dexter becomes fascinated when; another serial killer announces himself to his hometown of Miami by leaving a dismembered body in rubbish bags. Who is this killer whose style is so similar to Dexter's own?
Although set in Miami this novel reads very much like a British thriller. Largely similar to James Herbert's early work, although not particularly gruesome, Lindsay spends little time on long periods of characterisation. Many characters are stereotypical and formulaic to the genre including the hard nosed, cynical cop and even the corrupt Priest. As a result Lindsay comes perilously close to "thriller by numbers" territory.
Fortunately, Lindsay saves us from this with his prolonged characterisation of our anti-hero. At least three quarters of the novel is constructed around delving into his scarred psyche in order to explain his actions. Questions like, Why does Dexter have no emotions and what pivotal event led him to a life were his "dark passenger" must be satiated? Are all addressed in a series of flashbacks and in Dexter's own actions.
Like any great crime novel there are clues along the way for both the reader and our anti-hero to follow. But, it wouldn't be a thriller if there were not a good few twists and turns along the way and on this front Lindsay excels providing both an imaginative and original ending.
If this was a film review I would this had a great script, excellent lead, but poor supporting cast. As a novel its' pace is frantic with short, sharp chapters throughout. The action comes thick and fast only broken by the occasional flashback from Dexter.
Shorter than most novels of this kind at a mere 289 pages, it is a change to read something fresh from a promising new author who has yet to become bogged down with the convoluted plot of say...a Koontz or Rankin novel. This author is certainly one I will be looking out for in the future and Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the best 0 pence I ever spent!
Price: £6.99 in Hardback