book review crime fiction

Darkly Dreaming Dexter Review

Darkly Dreaming Dexter is one of the most unique and bizarre serial killer novels you will ever find.

Our protagonist, can’t quite call him our hero, is a sociopathic murderer with a twist, he has a conscience, or at least a moral code. He will only kill the guilty, the people who have escaped justice.

This is a greatly entertaining novel with a surprisingly charming character in Dexter.

By day Dexter is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police, a great place to find his next victims, and to keep an eye on the police investigations into his own sordid night time escapades. There’s never any real danger of that though, Dexter is always one step ahead.

However, that all changes when a copycat killer shows up on Dexter’s turf using his own method of killing against him. Dexter must know choose between helping catch the man to help his police-officer sister or getting the satisfaction of the kill for himself. Events spiral in this book and drag Dexter along with them, this is not how he usually likes to live his life.

Jeff Lindsay is a master at giving this old tired genre a new lease of life. His exploration of a charming and elegant serial killer going out to deal his own brand of justice is intriguing and I hope that in later instalments it is addressed and fleshed out more fully.

And while I like the character of Dexter his false charm grates thin and there is not enough wit within his narration for him to effectively carry the entire novel on his back. He also needs more redeemable features if I am to come back and read the rest of the novels, he’s good for a one trip outing but if I’m going to get invested then I need to not just like him as a character but as a person too.

The plot is basic but with a nice twist at the end that really makes the whole uninspiring journey worth it. I am looking forward to getting stuck into the next one and I hope it can improve upon a solid foundation.

Rating

Rating: 7 out of 10.

You can grab yourself a copy of Dexter’s first outing on Amazon.

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