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In fact he is a gourmet dish,
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This review is from: Dexter is Delicious: The Devil is in the Detail (Paperback)This is the fifth novel in the series. It was clear that the series departed from the books rather early, definitely in the second season. But this volume is a lot more radical since it starts exactly where the fourth season of the series nearly ends (the blood bath of the Rita is not yet envisaged): the birth of Dexter's child with Rita. And the difference with the TV series becomes radical.
The child is not a boy but a girl, Lily Anne. You can't be more different than that since the relation with the girl is necessarily different and the future of the girl is definitely different too: ballet dancing rather than knife swerving. Rita does not die in the hands of the trinity killer who is not even hinted at. What's more Jeff Lindsay brings Dexter's brother back into the picture from the very start. He had disappeared at the end of the first volume and season since he was the ice-truck killer, which makes his presence difficult since he must never meet Deborah he tried to have assassinated by Dexter in front of him.
And the crime story in this fifth volume is a coven of cannibals in Miami, something that is a lot larger than what Dexter is generally dealing with. A whole band of cannibals led by a couple of people helped by half a dozen second-rank aids.
In this novel Dexter is going to run risks and take risks more than ever and he will end in the hands of these cannibals a couple of times and will have to escape and in fact fail to escape for the story to go on. His sister is playing a tremendously more dynamic role in the police and she is dragging her brother into her own police actions which are at times beyond Miranda, in other words illegal. The sister is also vastly restructured as a lot more tense, with a regular boyfriend, a certain Chutsky who is coming from the past and she is sentimentally involved with him.
I won't say more than that about devilish details. But I want to say something about a couple of questions that are raised in this novel.
The first question is that there is no justice in Florida and probably in the US. If you are rich and can afford the best lawyers you will always walk free sooner or later and quite sooner than later. Anyone who has followed the DSK case knows exactly what Jeff Lindsay means. The main criminals and cannibals in this story are just the direct illustration of this simple fact: there is a justice for the rich in the US that has little to do with the justice for the poor. If, what's common in many cases, the rich criminal is also in some position of fame or power, this double judicial divide is just severely amplified.
The second thing is that the protection that is due to private life, private enterprise, private meetings, etc is also the best protection for criminals to develop their criminal activities. They just have to respect the general laws protecting privacy, private life and everything private in the US to set up a free enterprise that will be the cover-up of their criminal activities. In this case a night club for would-be vampires can be the cloak hiding the cannibals. And Jeff Lindsay insists on the fact that this business is so well protected that no police work is possible. If the police want to do something, they have to step out of legal bounds, which they are not supposed to do.
The third remark is about the economic dynamism of the USA. Jeff Lindsay insists on the dynamism of these criminals who are able to develop very powerful economic tools that are untouchable because of their economic power. This is a perversion of the economic system on which the USA is built because that very system does not negate the social dimension of the economy which these people do: they only work for themselves, their interests and their power. It is like a sort of cancer in the very heart of the system. In fact we can wonder if Jeff Lindsay is not giving a warped image of the USA since in this book he looks at a major business (real estate), real businessmen and he seems to make them irresponsible. Is it the result of the housing bubble, the unacceptable mortgage practices of some real estate agents, the greed of real estate agents who wanted to make a profit with unhealthy mortgages and loans?
At the same time Jeff Lindsay seems to be careful to under-mention the Cuban presence in Miami and Florida, and that is a change because in the TV series the Cubans are everywhere including in the police, Spanish is present in all episodes or nearly. This under-representation of Cubans in Florida seems to make this volume, maybe all the novels, more WASP American than it should be to be realistic.
These remarks do not take any value from the book which is a real thriller, well built and with so much suspense at crucial moments that it amounts to some torture from the author to his readers. He finds a real pleasure in getting into some side remarks when the life of Dexter or his sister is at stake. We have to wait to find out how it finally goes.
But I would like to close this review on the definition of freedom that is given in the book several times: "I had no more choice than a man strapped into Old Sparky who is told he's free to stay alive as long as he can when they throw the switch" (p. 381) and again: "Freedom is really an illusion. Anytime we think we have a real choice, it just means we haven't seen the shotgun aimed at out navel." (p. 399) We can hardly consider this is a non-important side remark that has no general value. This vision of the world is all the more important and effective on the readers when we know it is carried by Dexter himself, the character we are identifying with.
Enjoy the frightening yet maybe sometimes humoristic story.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU