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Dexter in the Dark part 3 of the series
After reading the first two books and seeing all of the tv series so far, I think it is fair to say I am a Dexter fan and would be pretty good at a Dexter quiz.
So after finishing the 3rd book I sat back and asked myself 'what was that?'. Not because I did not understand the story because I did, it was because the book is in my honest view entirely different to the previous two. Dexter has always claimed to be a 'fake human' he has no emotions all of his emotions are faked in an attempt to disguise his true identity.
In Dexter view his true identity is the shear presence of his dark passenger. An inner soal buried deep inside him that buries his human emotions and sense other dark passengers (the killers he should kill).
I have always been quite a fan of the idea of his dark passenger and inner entity controlling him, speaking to him guiding him. However this book takes it a little too far for me.
When Dexter attends a crime scene at the beginning of the story, a very brutal body mutilation scene his dark passenger disappears. This then starts Dexter feeling his emotions most notably fear and sadness.
As the story develops you learn that that the dark passenger is apparently of religious origin which I find very hard to swallow. In my view it is kind of saying an evil god is deep in Dexter controlling him. Too me that is a no no. Dexter is his own being, his own mind just plain old serial killer Dexter.
I found the final action chapter to be extremely over the top and ridiculously embellished.
What is really good about the book is Dexter fast building relationship with his girlfriends children Astor and Cody, most notably Cody. I think although slightly un-nerving bond it is still a enthralling relationship building that is sure to have repercussions at a later date.
In this novel Dexter is being tracked from start to finish and he does not like it, the killer has got one over on him and Dexter has lost his methodical control. This is all a little too overwhelming for him and you start to see this characters emotions being pushed to the limits. Not just the killer story line also his home life with his impending marriage to Rita.
Humour has not been left out of this novel I particularly found the ending hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud. Dexter Morgan is a very dry sense of humour with a unique take on life. He always speaks his mind and is surprised at peoples reactions to his view on things, which just makes for great humour.
Although being left slightly disappointed in the book, it was merely the religious aspect brought into that I felt made it un-realistic. It is a factious crime thriller but still it has always had an element that suggests this could really happen, this could really be true. But I honestly feel that parts of this book make that feeling completely disappear.
I would love to hear other opinions to my thoughts on this book as it is the first I have read and not felt WOW! I felt that the integrity of Dexter was brought into question.
However despite being quite critical of the novel it does not escape the fact that the author has again created a fantastic mind boggling read.
For fans like myself do not be alarmed... I have already began book 4 and so far it's a big thumbs up. Don't be put off by this review. Dexter In The Dark is a great novel and an absolute must read as it contains some extremely vital aspects to this continuing story that you just can not miss.
I have read many reviews on this book and it appears to consensus is the same it is not as good as the first two, but as I say do NOT be put off you must read this, like any book is has its pro's and con's.
The book is about 3½ stars unfortunately this is not an option, as it is more a 3 than 4 it has to be a 3 star rating.
Amazon £3 - £5 Kindle £5
BE WARNED SPOILER ALERTS!!!! I must admit I didn't get into Dexter by just hearing about the books, I watched the TV series first and I have to admit when I do read the Dexter books I do imagine Michael C. Hall's voice narrating.
I started reading the books and realized this Dex is no way near as nice as the one in the TV series appears to be, in between the killing that is, and I like that I massively enjoyed the first two books but I have to admit Lindsey let me down, MASSIVLY.
After creating such a great character using his own police knowledge of killers and sociopaths he changed the tone of the books, in this book Dex is without his passenger for most of the book because the will of him to kill got scared away.
Lindsey after two amazing books tries to play the Supernatural card and loses, big time. I'm not sure what prompted this as the other two didn't hint at it. The whole demon body hopping annoyed me too.
At least I still have the TV series which I'm sorry to say has now surpassed the books. I kinda wish that the screen writers would write the next books instead of Lindsey because I promise that I will not be reading the next Dexter book.
I was in two minds about writing this review, on the one hand, I have read the first two books and watched the first three seasons of the t.v. series, and loved every single minute of the whole lot, the stories, the characters, the murders, and Dexter himself, his story, why he kills, why he is a killer, Harry's code, his job etc... the fact that Jeff lindsay got me to do the impossible, which was actually understand and grow to be fond of a serial killer, astounded me.
So up until this book, I would rate the entire series and books as high as any mark anything could get, until this book, and I am so thankful that the series did not mirror the book in anyway, shape or form, as this book completely ruined the book series for me.
At this point I feel I need to say do not read on if you have not read this book and do not want to know what happens and why I hate this book as they are all so intertwined that the plot and important things that happen need to be explored a little.
O.K. ...... If you are reading now it is because you either have read the book or really want to know why I hate the book so much when I have loved it all so much up to this point, or, you have no idea who or what Dexter is.
So, I would like to think I have a reasonable grasp on the books and the t.v. series and the character of Dexter, to which the books and t.v. series have been pretty much aligned, until now...
Dexter is blood spatter analyst working for Miami police department and he is a serial killer. He needs to kill, he is sociopathic, he is dead inside, he has no emotion, he fakes emotion to pass off as human, but in his mind, and he is very well educated about himself, the only thing human about him is the fact that he looks human and has skin.
We understand that as a boy, 3 or 4 year old, he and his brother witnessed their mother being hacked to pieces with chainsaws by drug dealers in a shipping container, the policeman on the scene at the time, who we later find out was intimately invlved with Dexters mother, took Dexter home, adopted him and raised him. The other boy, being older and more disturbed, went off to homes and institutions, he comes back as an adult in the first series as the Ice Truck Killer.
Luckily for dexter, the officer that adopted him, Harry, is a very experienced detective and has somewhat of a grasp of serial killers, sociopaths.... and easily identifies certain behaviours in Dexter as a child, from killing animals to later feeling he wants to do the same thing to people. As Harry understands the serial killer mind, Harry decides the best thing to do to protect Dexter is to not only make him good at it, but teach him not to get caught, and most importantly, he gives Dexter a code, which basically dictates his ethics and morales, which basically means, kill only those who deserve to be killed. Which, as Dexter gets older, being in the police service seemed the obvious choice due to the access to information and he is able to perfect his own methods of determining if someone is guilty, even if the courts have deemed someone not guilty by technicality, Dexter has his own ways of getting proof outside of the law.
So we have Dexter, he is a serial killer, he has a code, he kills bad guys, and lots of them, in the second series we explore why it is that Dexter likes to kill. We determine that he has a 'dark passenger', now to me, the way we are led to understand this 'Dark Passenger' is that it is a part of Dexter's need, like a drug, to kill. It is the thing that has developed in Dexter's personality that fills the void of his inability to experience and truly show emotion, as was stripped from him when his mother was brutally murdered, and when Dexter does kill, both he and the 'dark passenger' are satisfied and feel good and I suppose feeling something is better then nothing, even though we know there is an emotional Dexter in there as he cares deeply for his sister, his girlfriend and her kids, but this is something gradually being explored throughout th series. But here it gets confusing and I even feel I poorly described the feeling that Dexter feels, i.e. Dexter and the Dark Passenger, are not seperate entities, it is just that 'NEED' in Dexter to kill, that need to have this urge fed.
And this is where i have a problem with this book. Up until now there has been absolutely no mention of anything supernatural, of omniscient beings or eons old sentient entities. And right from the beginning of the book, we are tormented with an introduction about this entity that from what i can tell, just exists, it is everywhere, and no where, it has watched the lands of earth rise and fall, volcanoes spew forth the magma that later became the masses we know as continents, the insects and pathetic tiny creatures that spewed forth from goo that spawned life as we know it. Jeff lindsay describes this being as being incredibly bored, for a laugh, he would get monkeys to beat the crap out of each other, they were stupid, but one day, the monkey showed independant thought, and the entity thought, how interesting. And when traumatic things happened to us more sentient beings, these entities, as he apparently is not the only one, is able to enter our soul and become a 'dark Passenger'.
From this point on, in the mind of Jeff Lindsay, that every serial killer in the world is carrying a 'Dark Passenger', it sounds a bit scientology, Thetans, to me.
But if Jeff Lindsay wanted to write a scifi novel and explore his possible Scientology leanings, then he should have started another series of books around that, with different characters or at the very least, been up front with the Dexter series to begin with, I would not have wasted my time and allowed myself to become emotionallly attached to this character.
Instead I am sitting here, angered that Jeff has done this to our beloved Dexter!
He has turned Dexter into a joke, a mere puppet, that all along he was weak without this passenger to give him courage, to hone his skills and that without the passenger, he would have been just been possibly a normal person??
Dexter has an evil spirit inside him...... I'm sorry but that just does not wash with me!
I read an interview with jeff, pre-book launch, and he was saying that it was called Dexter in the Dark because his 'Dark Passenger' leaves him. At the time I thought this to mean that the need leaves him, that maybe some emotion starts coming back, some form of humanity and the thirst to kill is gone, he no longer hungers for it, but obviously a serial killer comes into the picture that either affects Dexter or his beloved family and Dexter, without that sociopathic side in him, does not know what to do and that something big would happen to make it come back.
But in this, quite the opposite happens, Dexter's 'Dark Passenger', I should just call him 'Steve', so as not too confuse people, is scared off by another more fierce and scarier entity.... .... Pathetic!
Unfortunately, this whole spirit thing has completely ruined any semblence of a story worth mentioning, the only other thing of interest is that little Cody appears to have a 'Dark Passenger' as well and Dexter contemplates the code and how to apply it.
Any other great character moments are completely overshadowed by the sheer ludicracy of this whole thing, so in my mind, there is no great character development for any of the other characters, no funny little side stories, just poo!
I absolutely do not recommend this book to anyone, I don't know why Jeff's publishers allowed him to release this dribble, which is reflected by how the t.v. series did not follow this story and kept it fiction based, not science fiction... relief!
Having said that i will buy the next book, hopefully Dexter will wake up and it was all a dream!!!
Sorry this was more a rant then a review, and I hope others that have read this will comment as I don't know anyone that has read this as well, so it would be interesting if other peole had an opinion about this whole debacle!
Thanks for baring with me and don't buy this book!
Jeff Lindsay's Dexter is a fascinating character. A serial killing monster a heart, he has learned to mimic normal behaviour so as not to stand out and have the finger of suspicion point to him. He is selfish, amoral and cruel yet, surprisingly witty and endearing - you can't help root for the guy. Having loved the two previous Dexter novels, I was very keen to find out where the character was going next. The first novel explored his origins and M.O. The second confronted his loyalties and this third book, his nature.
Although there is an element of suspension of disbelief in the world Dexter inhabits, there are limits. So, explaining Dexter's compulsion by way of an ancient supernatural entity was perhaps a bad idea. The character has always alluded to his "Dark Passenger" who takes over when he takes care of business, but I always preferred to see this as an element of Dexter's personality rather than an external force that inhabits his body. This coupled with the Wicker Man style ending and the expansion of the children's roles made it seem like it wasn't part of the same series.
In short, the prose is as witty and compelling as the previous books and the tangled web of Dexter's personal life are worth reading however, the supernatural element left me cold.
This is the first book by Jeff Lindsay which I have read and I am still in two minds about it. Whether this is down to the fact that I have been spoiled by the TV series and have been subconsiously comparing the two I don't know!
Dexter in the Dark is the third out of a series of four books surrounding Dexter Morgan but there is to be expected a 5th some time in the future. The plot to this story seems to be a pretty simple one to understand.
Dexter Morgan is called onto to the crime scene at a university where two girls bodies have been found. Both are headless aside from a clay bulls head positioned. Already not a nice thought to imagine. However there are a few substantial suspects which make you think that it is obvious who kills them. Until that is, it seems as though all your suspects die! Theres a bit of cultish-ness to it (for want of a better description!)
Another part of this which makes it interesting is the fact that, whoever has done these murders, they are taken a keen interest in Dexter and for some reason Dexter is sensing something isn't right. Especially when the darkness inside of himself, the dark passenger, seems to of disappeared. Leaving him alone to feel fear and paranoia.
The thing about this book is that it's a bit infuriating! I had absoloultely no idea who the killer was until right at the end. Unlike other crime stories which I've read there has been a slight hint at it. I think for me it would of been wise to of looked for the first of the series rather than going straight for the first one I saw. The fact that Astor and Cody want to be taught something, didn't actually occur to me what it was they wanted to be taught till a good deal further on.
Overall this is an average book but I think I shall be heading out to read the others as well. Just maybe in the right order!
Dexter in The Dark, the 3rd novel in Jeff Lindsays excellent Dexter Series is a slightly different affair to the other Books in the series (first novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter, its follow up Dearly Devoted Dexter and the recently released 4th novel Dexter By design). Were as the first two novels in the series followed a fairly straight forward crime novel formula Dexter in The Dark introduces a supernatural edge to the series to mixed results.
The book lacks the natural flow of the first two novels and Lindsays writing also seems to have suffered somewhat in this offering lacking the certain poetic flow that defined the character in the earlier books.
There are some plus points here, the plot with Dexter loosing his dark passenger and with it his need to kill is an interesting plot development and gives an interesting twist to the way Dexter is Perceived and the further development of Cody and Astor as budding sociopaths as well as Dexters Marriage will lead to interesting plots further down the line.
Overall This book is not as bad as some critics have labeled it, but it is not as well written as the other books in the series and the supernatural elements to the story do not hang very well with the character. Also the plot with the cult hunting Dexter is a little forced and not as smooth as the Killer vs Killer plot devices of the other books.
I've read all three of these in quick succession - usually I'll have a break between a series but have only 3 or 4 books between each of them. This was mainly due to the television series starting and me wanting to be fully aware of what happened before watching it.
Contrary to the popular opinon I think this novel (the third in the series) is more controlled in style. I loved the haphazardness of the first novel whilst we get to know Dexter and his Dark Passenger. The second novel had a fabulous crime in it that kept me intrigued and this novel was a step away from that. The crime was clever and sustained throughout the novel but this time we get to know more about Dexter and Rita's two children - Cody and Astor.
The plot is just as good as the previous two novels but I feel the writing has improved, it seems more structutred as if Jeff Lindsay has settled into the Dexter series. This one is more throught provoking and you can tell that just from reading the inside of the dust jacket - this time one someone is scaring Dexter and has sent his Dark Passenger into hiding. If he is to save himself and those around him he has to ask himself where evil comes from and does it hide inside everyone?
I didn't feel that it was as much of a page turner as the other two but it was still highly enjoyable. I eagerly await the fourth in the series later this year.