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March 16, 2009 | by  | in Books | [ssba]

Dexter by Design

Dexter by Design is the fourth book in Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series about Dexter Morgan, the serial killer you can love. If you haven’t read Dexter before, or seen the TV series, you’re missing out. Dexter works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, and moonlights as a serial killer. He follows strict rules set in place by his foster father, Harry, and only kills those who deserve it—murderers and such who have fallen through the cracks in the justice system.

In Dexter by Design, Dexter returns from his honeymoon in Paris to find Miami being terrorised by a sadistic killer who displays his victims in horrifying ways. Dexter’s sister, Sergeant Deborah Morgan, investigates the murders, using Dexter’s ‘killer instinct’ to find him. However, when things get personal, Dexter must find the killer before the killer finds him.

Dexter narrates the books with his characteristic wit—being a cold-hearted killer and unable to feel human emotions (so he says), Dexter’s detachment from human interactions gives him a unique perspective on things to… well, take the piss.

“I walked over to where Debs was interviewing an hysterical Hispanic woman who was crying into her hands and shaking her head at the same time, which struck me as a very difficult thing to do, like rubbing your belly and patting your head. But she was doing it quite well, and for some reason Deborah was not impressed with the woman’s wonderful coordination.”

The other defining characteristic of Dexter is the suspense. In order to avoid unwanted attention to his favourite hobby, Dexter has had to fabricate a whole life around him to fit into society. But not all are convinced, and Dexter must do his best to avert suspicions and avoid being discovered as the serial killer he is (while at the same time tracking down Miami’s latest killer, dealing with his overbearing wife and her two psychopathic children, Deborah’s hangups about his hobby, and satisfying his own playful urge to kill).

Dexter by Design is a great and easy read. I managed to plough through about half of it without realising I’d actually read much. I also had the occasional laugh-out-loud moment startling those around me. It was a great improvement on the third book in the series, Dexter in the Dark, which was far too supernatural and didn’t fit with the Dexter story. The first and second books are also good.


About the Author ()

Mikey learned everything he knows about English Grammar in an MSN chat room when he was 13. Believing that people don't say "LOL" enough in everyday conversation, he has made it his mission to teach the world about grammerz one person at a time.

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