three-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
12-Sept-Oct-2004
By: 
Jeff Lindsay
user_rating: 
0

A Novel

A-DarklyDreamingDexterMeet Dexter Morgan, a blood-spatter expert for the Miami police department—and a serial killer himself. Yet he’s the morally ambiguous kind of killer, pleasant on the surface, fully in touch with his inhumanity, and the type who thinks nothing of murdering a pedophile priest with blood on his own hands. Enter Deborah Morgan, Dexter’s foster sister and a police officer hoping to rise in the ranks. Her goal? To find a serial killer who dismembers his prostitute victims. But when Dexter decides to help her solve the case, he must confront a killer whose methods match his own.
Doubleday. 288 pages. $22.95.
ISBN: 038551123X

St. Petersburg Times 4 of 5 Stars
"… [a] totally captivating book. … Darkly Dreaming Dexter is Jeff Lindsay’s first novel, and I don’t know how he’s ever going to top it. The story is totally original. The characters are beautifully drawn, particularly Dexter, who is tremendously likable, his hobby notwithstanding." Jean Heller

Denver Post 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Listening to Dexter tell his story is something akin to the experience of having Hannibal Lecter as a narrator. … [T]he readers who have the stomach for its raw glory are going to find they like it very much." Robin Vidimos

Entertainment Weekly 2 of 5 Stars
"Avowed serial killers, however tame, do not make appealing protagonists over the long haul." Jennifer Reese

New York Times 2 of 5 Stars
"This much is clear: He’s not clever enough to unseat Dr. Hannibal Lecter from the top of the homicidal heap. … With monstrously windy prose and Needless Capital Letters, Mr. Lindsay makes it clear from the outset that Dexter answers to his own inner torments." Janet Maslin

Critical Summary

"Demonology has a dastardly new darling," writes The New York Times, a new Hannibal Lecter narrator with ghoulish, grisly intensity. Dexter’s unapologetic look at his own instincts, not to mention his likeable nature, charmed a couple of critics. Dexter is a wholly original twist on the serial killer novel, and if you can stand the blood and gore, it’s worth reading for the narrator’s voice and trick ending alone. Only the Times questions Dexter’s ingenuity (after all, who spells "Boo" out of truncated body parts?) and faults Lindsay for purple prose. But "[d]o credit Mr. Lindsay for certainly knowing what sells," Maslin notes—so wait patiently for the sequel.