DEXTER BY DESIGN by Jeff Lindsay
“But this was silly, weak, and wrongâ€”and very much Not Dexter. The Real Dexter lived in the Dark, came alive in the sharp night, took joy in slashing out from the shadows. Who was this, standing here hesitating? Dexter does not dither.”
Review by Eleanor Bukowsky (SEP 9, 2009)
In Dexter by Design, Jeff Lindsay makes a bold move and it pays off. The first three books of the series are filled with twisted humor and dark satire; they are also nauseatingly violent and gruesome. Dexter has always reveled in his passion for inflicting pain on those who deserve it. Now, much to his consternation, Dexter is experiencing stirrings of vulnerability, guilt, and even compassion. Although a normal person might welcome this development, Dexter is chagrined. Since he was a child, the strongest feeling that he had was the joy of murdering, dismembering, and disposing of his victims. What is one to make of this Drastically Different Dexter?
Part of the change may stem from Dexter’s new living arrangements. After a honeymoon in Paris, he is settling into a domestic routine with his devoted wife and stepchildren, Cody and Astor. Dexter returns his job as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department and he looks forward longingly to resuming his favorite pastimeâ€”hunting at night with his ropes and cutting tools. However, Dexter soon learns that he has a competitor for the title of Miami’s sickest dude. Someone is leaving dead bodies decorated with floral arrangements and tropical fruit in various spots around the city. The stakes are raised when an individual whom Dexter cares about is attacked and seriously wounded. The Dark Passenger is stirring once again, and Dexter’s newfound humanity may not be enough to keep him from exploding with rage.
Dexter by Design is Lindsay’s most accomplished work to date. Although Dexter (who still refers to himself alliteratively in the third person) insists that he has no soul, his actions belie his words. After he commits a brutal act that may have stemmed from an error in judgment, he is remorseful and frightened of the possible consequences. For the first time in his life, Dexter is at a loss, and he turns to others to help him find his way. In spite of his angst, Dexter continues to amuse us with clever wisecracks that are often tasteless, outrageously inappropriate, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Adding to our delight is the excellent supporting cast. Rita, Dexter’s wife, fusses lovingly over her new husband; Cody and Astor eagerly await further lessons from Dexter in how to commit mayhem and get away with it; Dex’s sister, Deb, and her clingy boyfriend, Kyle Chutsky, show sides of themselves that we have never seen before. The author keeps us guessing as to who is on the rampage in Miami and why. How will this villain react when he learns that Dexter is out to get him? Dexter’s adversary proves to be a devious and vicious psychopath who threatens everything that our hero holds dear. Dexter by Design is a hilarious, suspenseful, and action-filled thriller. The twists and turns keep coming at a furious pace and the ending is a humdinger, with a major surprise that promises to keep this series fresh for some time to come.
|AMAZON READER RATING:||from 81 readers|
|PUBLISHER:||Doubleday (September 8, 2009)|
|AVAILABLE AS A KINDLE BOOK?||YES! Start Reading Now!|
|AUTHOR WEBSITE:||Wikipedia page on Jeff Lindsay|
|EXTRAS:||Publisher Dexter Page|
|MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION:||Read our review of:|
- Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004)
- Dearly Devoted Dexter 2005)
- Dexter in the Dark (2007)
- Dexter by Design (2009)
- Dexter is Delicious (2010)
- Double Dexter (October 2011)
TV Series from book:
- Dexter: The First Season (2006)
- Dexter: The Second Season (2008)
- Dexter: The Third Season (2009)
- Dexter: The Fourth Season (2010)
- Dexter: The Fifth Season (2010)