Monday, September 29, 2008

Dexter in the Dark

From singles 2

This is the third novel in the Dexter series - the series that inspired or spawned the Showtime series "Dexter". Dexter is a Miami forensic investigator who in his "off" time is also a serial killer. Dexter has been trained by his foster father, Harry, to be exceptionally tidy so as not to get caught and to select only other evil serial killers as victims. In this novel Lindsay introduces a supernatural element. The "Dark Passenger" inside Dexter who helps inform him of the evil in others and drives his blood lust is identified as something "other" to Dexter when, after encountering 2 cooked and decapitated female bodies with ceramic bulls' heads on their necks, it takes flight. Dexter is left to discover all he is left with is his humanity and its uncomfortable emotions. All this takes place while Dexter is preparing to marry his girlfriend, Rita, and is being harangued by Rita's serial-killer-children-in-the making - Astor and Cody - to whom Dexter has promised to "show things".

There. That covers most of the action. Action is not exactly flying through this novel. Most of the story is taking place internally to Dexter. He's being stalked. He's experiencing fear and anger. He's trying to figure out what to do about the caterer and the kids. Thankfully there isn't much of either his sister or Sgt. Doakes. (WHY there is ANY of Sgt. Doakes is a mystery to me. My only real guesses are 1. he provides a bit of chuckle when he first appears 2. we are being set up for book #4.) And, the kids are not too annoying. It is helpful that they are not overly talkative and I must admit I was amused by their explanation as to how it came to be that they were standing over the neighbor's cat, which was tied up then duct-taped to a table, with hedge clippers..."It was an accident".

Similarly, there is plenty of good Dexter dialogue. Funny stuff, if you've got a dark sense of humor.

She frowned. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing at all," I said. "I just couldn't sleep."

Rita bent her face down toward the floor and shuffled over to the coffeemaker and poured herself a cup. Then she sat across the table from me and took a sip. "Dexter,"she said, "it's perfectly normal to have reservations."

"Of course," I said, with absolutely no idea what she meant, "otherwise you don't get a table."

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