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Darkly Dreaming Dexter [Paperback]

Jeff Lindsay
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 July 2005

Dexter Morgan isn't exactly the kind of man you'd bring home to your mum. At heart, he's the perfect gentleman: he has a shy girlfriend, and seems to lead a quiet, normal life bordering on the mundane. Despite the fact that he can't stand the sight of blood, he works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police.

But Dexter also has a secret hobby: he is an accomplished serial killer. So far, he's killed 36 people and has never been caught because he knows exactly how to hide the evidence. And while that may lead some people to assume he's not such a nice guy, he tempers his insatiable hunger for brutality by only killing the bad guys.

However, Dexter's well-organised life is suddenly disrupted when a second, much more visible serial killer appears in Miami. Intrigued that the other killer favours a style similar to his own, Dexter soon realises that the mysterious new arrival is not simply invading his turf but offering him a direct invitation to 'come out and play'...

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Darkly Dreaming Dexter + Dearly Devoted Dexter + Dexter In The Dark
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Product details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (27 July 2005)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0752865749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752865744
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Lindsay is the author of the acclaimed Dexter novels, now adapted into an award-winning TV series. In addition, Jeff's plays have been performed on the stage in New York and London. Outside of his writing, Jeff is a musician and karate enthusiast. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida, with his family.

Here are the Dexter novels in series order:

Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Dearly Devoted Dexter
Dexter in the Dark
Dexter by Design

Product Description

Amazon Review

Meet Dexter Morgan, the chief protagonist of Darkly Dreaming Dexter. He's a highly respected lab technician specialising in blood spatter for the Miami Dade Police Department. He's a handsome, though reluctant, ladies' man. He's polite, says all the right things, and rarely draws attention to himself. He's also a sociopathic serial killer whose "Dark Passenger" drives him to commit the occasional dismemberment. Mind you, Dexter's the good guy in this story.

Adopted at the age of four after an unnamed tragedy left him orphaned, Dexter's learned, with help from his pragmatic policeman father, to channel his "gift", killing only those who deal in death themselves. But when a new serial killer starts working in Miami, staging elaborately grisly scenes that are, to Dexter, an obvious attempt at communication from one monster to another, the eponymous protagonist finds himself at a loss. Should he help his policewoman sister Deborah earn a promotion to the Homicide desk by finding the fiend? Or should he locate this new killer himself, so he can express his admiration for the other's "art"? Or is it possible that psycho Dexter himself, admittedly not the most balanced of fellows, is finally going completely insane and committing these messy crimes himself?

Despite his penchant for vivisection, it's hard not to like Dexter as his coldly logical personality struggles to emulate emotions he doesn't feel and to keep up his appearance as a caring, unremarkable human being. Debut author Jeff Lindsay's plot is tense and absorbing, but it's the voice of Dexter and his reactions to the other characters that make this one of the most original and highly recommended serial killer stories in a very long time. --Benjamin Reese, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A macabre tour-de-force." --"The New York Times Book Review" "A dark comedy with a creative twist."--"The Miami Herald" "Dark and devious. . . . . Daring and unexpectedly comedic." --"USA Today" "Maybe the first serial killer who unabashedly solicits our love." --"Entertainment Weekly" "With chills like these, you can skip the air-conditioning." --"Time" "One of the most likeable vigilante serial killers in recent thriller literature." --"The New Yorker" "Demonology has a dastardly new darling." --"The New York Times" "Just when you think (hope?) that the tired and rarely credible device of the serial killer next door has hit a wall, along comes a writer like Jeff Lindsay to prove you wrong. . . . So enjoyable." --"Chicago Tribune" "Mordantly funny." --"The New York Post" "A fresh, inventive slice of crime fiction that turns the axis of good and evil . . . upside down. A psychological thriller in the best sense of the gen --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the criticism? 7 Oct 2007
I, like many others reviewing this book, have watched the show first and then was so impressed with it, felt compelled to read the book. I haven't felt this eager to read a book in a long time and I wasn't disappointed. What I am disappointed with is the largely negative reviews here.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions but I felt some of them must have been reading a different book to myself. Ok, I will admit that the book is not as big as I was expecting but then I don't feel it needed to be. The book is full of humour and the characters are interesting.

Some characters, such as Angel Batista, are not seen as much in the book as they are in tv show, but other characters such as Vince Masuoka are seen more. The producers of the show decided to show more of Batista than Masuoka and that is their perogative. I thought the characterisation of Masouka was good and showed that perhaps Dexter could have a friend, or at least someone to connect with.

Perhaps the criticism that has puzzled me the most is the theory that the character of Dexter is not likeable enough in the book. Correct me if I'm wrong, but considering the self-mocking tone displayed in the book as written from Dexter's perspective, it left me feeling like that was the point: Dexter knows what he is, and what he is isn't suppoosed to be likeable.

His constant references to not being human make him an anti-hero, not someone to be admired and revered for being righteous. If people choose to like Dexter (which they admittedly do and I am one of them), it's because we choose to, not because we're supposed to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and detailed Dexter 11 Jun 2010
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is by far the best book I have read in many years. The author gives great attention to internal thought. It is as if the book puts you in the seat of the dark passenger. You egg Dexter on you laugh at the horror, and you learn his amoral decision making process.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So near, and yet... 12 Nov 2005
By jxn
It really pains me to have to give this book less than five stars, because for most of the way Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a blistering, caustic, delirious and hugely entertaining novel that sweeps the reader up and carries you effortlessly along for the ride. However, in the closing stages the plot reverts to one too many over-used crime fiction staples which spoil the outstanding promise shown until that point. The damage is severe, but thankfully Dexter is such dazzling company before this that the weaknesses in the conclusion are not quite enough to bring the whole enterprise to its knees.
There is much to recommend this book before you get to the end, however. Firstly you must admire the originality of Jeff Lindsay’s undertaking: without ever shying away from what Dexter is, he gives us a serial killer who is not only human but also extremely likeable. There is something endearing in Dexter’s inability to understand emotion and the coldly clinical view of people that he takes as a result of this. That he simply accepts it as part of who he is, rather than lamenting it at great length, only makes him a more congenial narrator, as his cynicism, honesty and confusion are wonderful traits to observe; he never asks for sympathy and yet is still a surprisingly sympathetic character, especially as everything starts to unravel beneath him.
Lindsay’s use of back-story to explain Dexter’s beginnings is spare but effective, and the other characters are mostly effortlessly drawn with a great eye for detail – the observations that typify Captain Matthews and Vince Masouka in particular had me laughing out loud.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the TV Show 14 April 2008
I read this book long before the TV show and it blew me away - the darkness, the depth and the originality of the serial killer who directed his irrepressible urges for the force of good was a blisteringly inventive hook. For me, the book was far superior to the show (although I enjoyed that too). And for what it's worth, Jeff Lindsay's sequels to this rock too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Devoted to Dexter 28 July 2010
By CaPe
Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Having followed Dexter on television I thought the book was going to be similar to the first series but with a bit more insight (as books usually give that little bit more and television and the movies tend to miss out bits that are important and vital and make sense). Boy was I wrong!

The book may start out the same as the first television series but then the book takes a sideways step and I found myself having to re-read bits to make sure I'd read it right. I truly was blown away by the direction Jeff Lindsay takes Dexter from that point on and yet it all works. I found my mind's eye visualising Michael C Halls' portrayal of Dexter, but when it came to the Dark Passenger - well I never expected to be able to visualise him, but I can!

I heartily recommend this book (and all the other Dexter titles too!) to anyone who loves Dexter. I guarantee you will not be able to put the book down and you will want to read the next one as soon as you have finished - I did and I am always on the look out for the next title in the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brill if you love dexter
Published 13 hours ago by deborah
4.0 out of 5 stars Different from the series
No way to get around me coming to this book series through the TV show. The book is very different but just as interesting in its set up. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Simon Northwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply delighted with Dexter
Deeply delighted with Dexter.

Finished the tv series and now I have started the book series which has exceeded my expectations, it branches the characters off in an... Read more
Published 15 days ago by kevin maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I have to admit I started reading Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series just after I saw the first season of the American TV Show. Like always the books beats the movie! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Skater Girl
2.0 out of 5 stars k
How does this sound dexters final cut? how does this sound dexters final cat? how does this sound dexters final cut? how does this sound dexters final cut? Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. S. Hunter
3.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery, apart from the ending
Review: Dexter Morgan is a serial killer serial killer. He’s also a forensic scientist for the Miami Police Departent and has a normal life outside of that. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nina (Death Books and Tea)
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
Brilliant book. Watched the TV series first but that by no means ruined the book as the series is an excellent spin off from the book!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by jenjen2468
4.0 out of 5 stars If you loved the show
if you watched Dexter the tv show, you will enjoy the book... although very closely related to season one, the tv changed things... well worth a read
Published 1 month ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars quality product
Exactly as described. I try to be picky and find something negative to say. I cannnot find anything to say
Published 2 months ago by russey
5.0 out of 5 stars Different to TV Series
Different to the TV series. Well worth reading though. The author has a rich, opulent writing style. Family is important.
Published 3 months ago by Michelle Dawn Fleming
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