Becky’s Fifty-Fifth Book Review: “Dexter by Design” by Jeff Lindsay

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE ON THE DEXTER TV SERIES AND ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING IT

“Dexter by Design” is the fourth book in the Dexter series. I’m a little late on writing this review, but what are you going to do?

First of all, I want to again touch on how talented Jeff Lindsay is. His writing technique is rather exceptional. Lindsay has a very unique voice which he uses to allow the readers to know the mind of a serial killer. I am a fan of all sorts of writing styles, but I am especially fond of books where the main character is speaking to the reader. I like how well you get to know the character because of this. Most people would not empathize with a serial killer, but Lindsay creates such a likeable character, you can’t help but cheer for him.

“Dexter by Design” begins with Dexter and Rita on their honeymoon in Paris. Here they encounter a very distinctive art exhibit that awakens Dexter’s Dark Passenger and amuses it. Once they return home Dexter is thrust back into work where Miami is once again encountering some crude crime. Someone is taking bodies and arranging them in very strange fashions. Solving this case becomes more complex because Deb is very awkward about knowing what Dexter is (something she found out at the end of the first book). Even though Deb wants Dexter’s help, she can’t but help lashing out at him, especially when he tries to explain to her his reasoning and Harry’s code. At the same time, Dexter is still trying to keep Cody and Astor out of trouble even though their own darkness is crying for blood. Rita becomes more concerned that her children aren’t ‘normal’ and Dexter is working very hard to make sure that she doesn’t know what her children really are.

For those of you who watch the television series, at the end of last season (season six) Deb walks in just as Dexter stabs his latest victim. I though it was interesting seeing how the show rearranged how things happen in the book series vs. the television series. Now at the beginning of Season 7, Deb is trying to cope with Dexter’s darkness and at the same time control it. This is different from how she reacts in the books (sort of—she still does kind of freak out). I did just start the next book in the Dexter series and found another event that the television series chose to change. You’ll just have to wait for my next review to find out what.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that Lindsay is an extremely talented author and most would enjoy his book. Even if you don’t enjoy the show, the books may appeal to you. There is sort of more gore in the books, but since you don’t technically see it, rather than imagine it this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Perhaps I’m alone on that. Either way, Lindsay is a very talented author and I cannot wait to get my hands on his other novels. Sadly, there are only six books in the series at the moment. I’m not sure if there will be more or not.

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