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on 1 August 2010
This is another enjoyable Dexter novel from Jeff Lindsay. This book sees Dexter as a new father, and his little girl, Lily-Anne, is giving him a new view on life. He decides to give up the dark ways, and focus on being a good father. Deborah on the other hand needs Dexter's dark side for help on her latest case, which involves a cannibal kidnapping!

Due to severely pared down gore, this book reads more like a detective novel than a traditional Dexter novel, but is very enjoyable none the less. Jeff Lindsay writes better and better every book, with dialogue and pacing better that before. The plot in this one is a little weak however, with a couple of very obvious plot twists (probably best to call them plot kinks really), and some rather obvious sign posting.

Another disappointing evolution is Dexter's new found humanity. This essentially manifests as him being bossed around and manipulated, as well as being less focussed. This is a strange book in the series in some ways, being quite good, but in completely different ways than the previous Dexter novels. Recommended as a book in the series, especially with the intriguing reintroduction of an old character, but not a classic.
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on 9 August 2010
You sense Jeff Lindsay is quickly running out of steam just the same way his main character Dexter Morgan is.

Lindsay's "Dexter" series, which launched thrillingly under a curdled yellow moon five instalments ago, waxed quickly, reaching a crescendo with its Showtime TV serialisation which itself flourished madly and is now in its fourth or fifth series. Dexter's literary progress has been somewhat more stately, and for good reason: it's tough to know where to go with a set-up as singular as Dexter's. By instalment 3 Dexter was already presenting Lindsay with scenario dilemmas: an avenging vigilante psychopath operating under cover as a mild-mannered forensic scientist in bloodthirsty Miami (so much so Hong-Kong Phooey) - is such an improbable set up even for a one-off, let alone a series - that plot developments are inevitably constrained. After all, there are only so many times a supremely gifted and unscrupulous evil-doer can figure out Dexter's saucy secret before it becomes implausible that no-one else does.

And while, on one hand, there's not really anywhere a character like Dexter can go: he can't settle down and get married and have kids; he can't share his secret; he can't give up his nocturnal urges *and* stay interesting - on the other hand what gives these novels their dramatic impetus is precisely that Dexter sails so close to the wind that, to remain plausible as an ongoing proposition he has to do these things. Dexter's cover requires him to be close to people, and the relationships he chooses (with his adoptive sister, a girlfriend, a suspicious workmate) are by their nature volatile, that Dexter simply can't stay in suspended animation either: each novel contains a little more self-discovery, each novel somehow compels Dexter on to prosaic and dreary normalcy.

On so it is, by instalment 5 that, having exhausted other options including the freaky supernatural one (episode 3 - didn't work) Jeff Lindsay has no choice but to allow a now married Dexter (this sociopath once without a sexual, let alone romantic, tendency in his body) to become a father and start to feel the stirrings of human emotions. Which kind of defeats the point.

Each of these compromises makes the character less interesting, and oddly the same goes for the surrounding cast. Debs is muted, Chutsky barely represented (despite figuring largely in the plot), even Vince Matsuoka seems to have lost his perverted interest in what goes on. Nor does the primary antagonist, this time, have any special connection with Dexter much less special knowledge of Dexter's dastardly doings (perhaps to retain plausibility, but at the cost of piquancy), is thinly drawn and indeed isn't even introduced to the action until the final act.

And nor is there the spectre of a Sergeant Doakes or a Detective Coulter on Dexter's case and closing in for the home team, ratcheting up the tension and posing the squeamish questions for the reader (such as, "why am I pulling for a psychopathic murderer over a policeman who has correctly figured him out?").

In fairness there is a tension of this sort, introduced by the return of a character from a former instalment, but even that seems half-hearted, not enough is made of it, and it necessitates some awkward plotting, requiring Deborah to be conveniently absent or unconscious on a couple of occasions to avoid running into this chap. Now Lindsay's plotting has always been a bit thin, but daylight was showing through here and on one or two other occasions you could see significant developments (including the denouement) coming a mile off.

Lindsay's playful prose, juicy characterisation and gift for wry observations about the venality of modern life has always outstripped his plotting in any case, but even that feels careworn here: there are only so many times jokes about crazy driving on Miami freeways pay off, and the characterisation is generally flat (though there's a great running joke about Rita's incoherence). Deborah's sizzling invective of earlier novels is reduced to a habit of repeatedly punching Dexter on the arm.

In short, Dexter is Delicious feels a lot like Jeff Lindsay going through the motions. Dexter may have been delicious once, but it is all tasting a bit stale on the fifth go-round. Lindsay is a terrific writer and, for all my bearishness, this is still a much better read than most in its genre, but all the same Dexter feels depleted, dreary and dismal. It's time he were retired, so Jeff Lindsay can invent another delicious character to thrill and dazzle us.

Olly Buxton
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on 29 April 2015
Very much enjoyed this, though it's not, to my mind, quite as brilliant as the last Dexter I read. I felt that the antagonists' characters were not as fully developed as they might have been. But 4 stars, as it's still very good indeed.
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2011
After some rather strange turns in the series, Jeff Lindsay has returned with a good story and much better writing. This book reintroduces an old character who has some significance in the plot, though you are not quite sure yet of the direction that their story is going to take.

Dexter is struggling with his child and the emotions that this has unleashed. The book and story is as much a story of the case as it is a battle for his soul. Can he completely turn his back on his past? Can he be a "loving" father and also satisfy the urges of his dark passenger?

The strong themes here are of family and trying to do the best you can for them, as well as yourself. A book of it's time, the wider economy seeps through here, colouring a little the view of the world. And within this world Dexter again tries to find his place. Very good book if you enjoyed the earlier books and were waiting for a story to do justice to them.
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Well, now that Dexter is the darling, doting daddy of Lily Anne, his newborn daughter, his psyche is taking more of a turn for the normal. After all, not only is he married, but he has a child now. Could anything be more human than that? So, Dexter is even feeling human emotion, at times, which is somewhat trying to his Dark Passenger, who yearns to get out and play. Of course, Dexter would not be Dexter, if there were not a situation that required his specific skill set.

When Dexter, a blood splatter expert, becomes involved at the behest of his detective sister with the disappearance of two teenage girls, all hell breaks loose. What Dexter discovers is not just an ordinary group of Goths with a vampire fetish, drinking blood, but a secret cabal of cannibals, ready and eager to devour human flesh.

Once again, Dexter is captivating. With sardonic humor and self-deprecating wit, he is quite amusing, even when faced with life and death decisions. Alas, his detective sister has become less so. In fact, as a character, I now find her one dimensional and downright tiresome. She is a one note joke, adding a discordant note to the book, as she has become unlikable. This is a shame, as she is a tie to Dexter's mentor, Harry, who enshrined the code by which Dexter and his Dark Passenger live.

Still, the book is enjoyable, overall, and fans of Dexter will not be disappointed. Readers will turn the last page of this book and find themselves eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
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on 16 May 2013
Love every Dexter book in the series. It is impossible to say one book is better than the other as they each bring out a different prt of Dexter's character. These book are different form the TV series - they are better!
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on 20 April 2013
I found it difficultto rate this as I gave up on it part way through. I really enjoyed the first 3 books, book 4 was good,mainly because Deborah was in a coma for most of it and I really hoped that she would lighten up but oh no. The 5th book begins with Dexter all loved up over his new baby but his joy is short lived. Deborah rings him up and demands he go to a crime scene despite being on paternity leave and he actually goes! When is he going to grow a pair? This book sbould be called Deborah crushes Dexters danglers. It's unbelievable! Is she capable of doing anything withoutDexters help? I'm afraid I won't be reading anymore of this series unless I see a book entitled Dexter decapitates Deborah.
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on 24 September 2011
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.

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on 11 February 2015
Dexter is Delicious is probably the most disturbing book so far of the Dexter series. It's kind of sick, and even the title makes me remember and shudder a bit. It's strange because it's not like there aren't other gruesome crimes in Dexter books, chopping up and freezing body parts is probably the least gruesome, cuttings off parts of someone's body whilst they are concious is a particularly cruel way to go, and the idea of body parts and death as art is not without its gruesome factor either.

Maybe it's the nature of the death. It wasn't exactly intended as something violent or something to kill someone, it was more like survival in some weird twisted way. Plus there was a sexual element (something between necrophilia and some sort of sexual fascination with death) which is just uggh.

It wasn't violet as in violent for the sake of violence is what I suppose I am trying to say, but in a way that made things worse.

It's also however part of what made Dexter is Delicious more interesting to me. It was sort of intriguing. I also liked seeing a bit more of a human Dexter, and how he was squaring his 'human' side with his 'monster' side.
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on 28 March 2014
This was an interesting novel in the series, not the worst one out of them to date, but I felt it struggled to handle the extra threads the author tried to weave in. Dexter is a new Dad, and despite already have two step kids it takes this for him to see how precious children are and make him want to change his ways. That, or while we weren't looking he had a lobotomy gone wrong and turned into a drooling parent, ignoring his dark passenger in case there was a chance for a baby to sick up on him. In fact many of the characters seem to have had persona shifts without reason.

Towards the last third of the book, when Dexter found himself in danger, some of his persona returned but it still felt watered down. There was also an odd inclusion of a character from a previous book that I felt was shoe-horned in and never really dealt with in the way Dexter normally would to protect himself.

I was glad to see the return of Doakes, and while he is meant to be the comedy villan I wish he wasn't always used as a joke. I feel it reads at times as if the author is prejudiced against disability.

I hope the author can get his head in the right space for the next book, I miss how te series started
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