More and more as I’ve immersed myself in blogging and reading a vastly greater proportion of SFF titles than I used to, I’ve found that the occasional break from the genre -even if only for a book or two and no further genre-wise than, say horror - can be one of the most welcomed things. A book like Darkly Dreaming Dexter is exactly what I look for in to fill those shoes, and it just so happened that the Dexter books had been on my radar for quite some time partly because of the acclaim they’ve received and the acclaim the television adaptation has also received. I know, I know, you’re thinking, ‘fine he can read that if he likes, but why’s he reviewing it on his SFF blog?’ Well, first of all: shut up, my blog, and I’ve allowed myself the right to digress genres for the simple reason that this is a great book and therefore, as a reviewer I feel it’s my responsibility to tell you about it. So let’s move along...
Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He leads a normal, quiet life working as a forensic officer for the Miami Police. He has a nice, shy girlfriend and is liked by her young children. But Dexter has a secret hobby. He’s an accomplished serial killer.
So far he’s killed dozen’s of people and has never been caught, because he knows exactly how to dispose of the evidence. And there are those who would rather he wasn’t caught at all, because Dexter is a serial killer with a difference. He only kills the city’s bad guys.
Then Dexter’s well-organized life is thrown into chaos. Another serial killer is invading his territory - and he wants Dexter to come out and play...
Twisted is a weak word to describe the concept behind Darkly Dreaming Dexter or the book itself. This strangely compelling thriller draws you into the mind of the type of person most people don’t want to be: a serial killer. Just as much as he is a monster and a deceiver, Dexter is funny, charming (though that too, is part of the deceiving) and intriguing. As much as we might not want to be like him we very intently want to no what makes him tick. And that there is why this book is made of win.
I couldn’t help as I was reading to draw comparisons to this other great little book, Dan Wells’ I Am Not a Serial Killer. I’m sure you’ll have spotted the link. Both books deal in their own ways with serial killers and their difficult insertion in society. The comparisons can be taken a little further - both are darkly comic and thrilling - but not much more seeing as IANASK has demons in it. Dexter stays a grounded in real life. If you can call it that.
Lindsay’s debut, beyond being sardonic, exciting and somewhat freaky, also manages to be touching. Yes, you read that right, Lindsay is able to make an accomplished, psychopathic, lethal killer touching to readers. Herein, once again, probably lies the strength of this book. That and the very well plotted crime story which encompasses much of the plot and adds a different interest angle to the book.
So you will have derived, the first of the Dexter books is one to experience at all costs. Its humor and strangely interesting plot are sure to keep you reading. This is the perfect, quick read to take a break from other works - a very, very enjoyable and refreshing break. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first of an already published four other books. It is very possible that you will be reading my thoughts on those too as I work my way through them...
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Reading Age: 16 and up
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