Dexter in the Dark

dexter dark reviewThird in the book series that inspired the Showtime hit DEXTER is Jeff Lindsay’s DEXTER IN THE DARK. I actually watched all of season one so I would have some background before starting. I won’t go into the differences between the two, since the first season followed the basic plot of the first book – DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER – and that’s where the similarities end.

For those who don’t know, Dexter is just your mild-mannered serial killer who works the forensics lab for the Miami police. But he only kills bad people, thanks to the guidance of his adoptive father, a cop who saw what Dexter really was at a early age and tried to instill a code to live by when it comes to his needs for homicide.

Like any other series book, there is some carryover from the previous installment, so you may not want to start with this one, since it gives away the outcome of the second one, DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER. This time out, Dexter is dealing with something a lot worse than hiding his secret: setting up his own wedding to his longtime girlfriend Rita. Yup, Dexter is going to get hitched, giving us some truly black comedy throughout.

But that’s only part of it, with Dexter also fostering Rita’s two children, who seem to be on the same track as Dexter, due to the abuse they got from their former father. It becomes apparent Dexter needs to have these kids understand that it’s not normal behavior to act out on.

The main plot deals with the ritualistic killings of girls, beheading the victims and leaving a ceramic bull head behind. Once Dexter shows up to the first crime scene, his inner voice – The Dark Passenger, as he calls him – disappears from his mind. These killings, you see, are even more brutal then Dexter is used to, and the body count rises with a growing list of suspects.

Lindsay tells the book so well in Dexter’s voice, it’s frightening, since the only perspective you are given is from a certifiable lunatic. DEXTER IN THE DARK is filled with gallows humor and a great little mystery. All the while, you are rooting for Dexter to figure it all out, without letting his own secret get exposed. So for those who got turned onto this one-of-a-kind character from cable, do yourself a favor and really get into head to see how truly disturbing he can be. –Bruce Grossman

Buy it at Amazon.

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Comment by stevefaust
2007-10-03 10:56:12

While Book 1 follows Season 1, Book 2 is thrown out the window as Season 2 enters new territory. It is good to see that from your review, things that are hinted at in the episodes so far seem to be coming into fruition, at least within Book 3. Maybe the series will get back to following the path of the books, although I can see them skipping Book 2 until the final season (no spoilers here!). This is one book I am definitely looking forward to reading!

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Comment by Bruce
2007-10-03 10:59:17

Yeah thanks to a certain site I saw the first two episodes of season 2 when reviewing this book. And then when I started the book was like well there is no way they can do that on television. Even though it would be really funny to see a certain character in that way.

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Comment by Cameron Hughes
2007-10-04 01:44:39

I thought this book was awful. Lindsay was incredibly lazy with it, and its especially glaring because of how far and better the show has taken the concept.

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Comment by 60 in 3
2007-10-04 10:37:14

Yep, I have to agree with Cameron on this one. I saw season 1 and read the first book, and the TV show is better than the book. That said, I didn’t like the TV show that much so I have no intention of picking up more books or watching more episodes, but it seemed like the author came up with a good idea and then got lazy about expanding it into a good story.


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Comment by Michael Padgett
2007-10-06 20:06:23

The books are the books and the tv show is a separate entity. I’m enjoying the tv series so far, but Lindsay has practically ruined the written series with this book by introducing an element that just doesn’t belong here. I won’t say more for fear of ruining the book for those who haven’t read it, but this new and very unwelcome element seems to me to change the nature of the series completely. And this may be minor in relation to my main complaint, but did anybody else notice that Deborah seems to have undergone a complete personality transplant in this book? The whole novel is virtually a textbook example of how a good series can go bad.

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2008-08-06 06:02:52

[…] We can’t forget DEXTER. The book series by author Jeff Lindsay — and now the popular Showtime (and CBS) series — proved to be a big […]

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