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14 January 2012

'Dearly Devoted Dexter' by Jeff Lindsay

I thought this series looked a little different from average thrillers and a light read.  It turned out to be a fun book ( and series so far, this is book 2).  It is a real escape in the best sense of the word.  Another person's mind is as far away as an alien planet;  Dexter's is indeed so far gone, phrases like "event horizon" come to mind.  I have never seen the show so I do not know how it translates on to the screen.  In writing, the jokes are as funny as they are macabre.  A serial killer that only kills serial killers is intriguing, the warped humor is a plus.  It is not an especially difficult or deep book.  On the other hand, I like the risk the author took with such an anti hero.

I was surprised to find the book cathartic.  Most mothers and a lot of decent, virtuous people never the less fantasize about busting a ring of criminals and dispensing suitable, occasionally creative amounts of justice.  To live in a moral world governed by consistent laws (we are lucky) and to be moral beings that voluntarily abide by these laws means that we do not blow up or torture drug pushers, pedophiles, etc.  We trust (hope) that we can bring them to justice with our laws and humanist ideals.  Unfortunately, we know that many murderers never get caught.

Ok, so now a book describes a serial killer who has been taught by a moral (but frustrated) policeman to channel his violent, conscience free inner nature and help make this world a better place.  Dexter goes after other serial killers and prides himself on the quality of his work.  The jokes are good because we sympathize with Dexter, which is weird and then see life through his eyes, which is weirder.

People's emotions and therefore motivations are a mystery to Dexter.  It feels to me that Dexter views people the way I view an iPhone; what goes on inside may as well be magic.  People speak volumes with looks and body language.  Dexter can only imitate not understand.  The situations and occasional misunderstandings are great.  Lindsay does a hilarious job of reminding the reader about points of view, degrees of morality, and justice as an abstract concept as opposed to a sharp (and pointy) reality.

ISBN: 9780752877884


  1. hi miriam,
    this sounds like a book and series i would like to read. i will look for them soon and let you know what i think.

  2. I hope you enjoy it. I bought it at a 3 for 2 sale and liked the first book best of the lot.