Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finished: 'Double Dexter'

Most of you probably know Dexter from the Showtime series. I've never watched it, heard a lot about it, mostly from my kids.
The series centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life as a serial killer, hunting down criminals who have slipped through the cracks of the justice system. Set in Miami, the show's first season derived from the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), the first of the Dexter series novels by Jeff Lindsay. 

Lindsay has written six Dexter novels. I didn't read the first five, but I did go against every OCD impulse in me and skipped right to No. 6. I like crime/mystery novels. I even like serial killer novels. So you'd think I would particularly like a novel where a serial killer mostly kills other serial killers. But I was a little torn on this.

It was a little darker than I expected. Sure, it's a story about a guy who dismembers pedophiles, so you kind of expect it to be a little darker. But I was expecting a little more humor in it. I'm told Dexter is a funny guy in the Showtime series, in a dark humor way. I didn't see much of that in this novel.

It gets mixed reviews at Goodreads, 3.79 out of 5, and summarizes:
A witness. Such a simple concept - and yet for Dexter Morgan, a perfectly well-disguised serial killer, the possibility of a witness is terrifying. As an upstanding blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police, Dexter has always managed to keep the darker side of his life out of the spotlight. An expert at finding truly bad people - murderers who've long escaped justice - and giving them his own special attention. But now someone has seen him in the act. Dexter is being followed, manipulated and mimicked, leading him to realise that no one likes to have a double - especially when his double's goal is to kill him. Like the five previously bestselling novels in the Dexter series, Jeff Lindsay demonstrates the witty, macabre originality that has propelled Dexter to international success.
In the book, Dexter's wife is nuts, his kids are weird, his sister is a psycho. Frankly, it should be everything I like in a book, but it wasn't that great. It was good enough that I'll probably get another one to give it a chance to grow on me. But it was no Koontz. I give it a 6-plus. Amazon gives it four out of five stars.

Some quotable quotes from it:
"I had been seen; I had brushed up against the flowing skirts of that old whore Justice, and I could not take that chance again." 
"It had always been obvious that everyone else in the world is painfully stupid; but tonight that truly grated on my nerves, and when I finally arrived home I was in no mood to pretend I was glad to be back with my little family."
Regarding his cop sister: "She was tough and smart and efficient, but she would never learn to lie with a straight face, which was a real killer for any career."
"I came, I duct-taped, I conquered. That was who I am."

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