Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter Series #2)

( 399 )


Life’s tough for Dexter Morgan. It’s not easy being the world’s only serial killer with a conscience, especially when you work for the Miami police. To avoid suspicion, Dexter’s had to slip deep into his disguise: spending time with his girlfriend and her kids, slowly becoming the world’s first serial killing couch potato. Then a particularly nasty psychopath starts cutting a trail through Miami — a killer whose twisted techniques leave even Dexter speechless. When his sister Deborah, a tough-as-nails cop, is ...

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Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter Series #2)

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Life’s tough for Dexter Morgan. It’s not easy being the world’s only serial killer with a conscience, especially when you work for the Miami police. To avoid suspicion, Dexter’s had to slip deep into his disguise: spending time with his girlfriend and her kids, slowly becoming the world’s first serial killing couch potato. Then a particularly nasty psychopath starts cutting a trail through Miami — a killer whose twisted techniques leave even Dexter speechless. When his sister Deborah, a tough-as-nails cop, is drawn into the case, it becomes clear that Dexter will have to do come out of hiding and hunt the monster down. Unless, of course, the killer finds him first. . .

Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) stars in Dexter, a Showtime Original series premiering Sunday, October 1st, at 10 p.m.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A macabre work of art.” –The Miami Herald“The first serial killer who unabashedly solicits our love.” –Entertainment Weekly “Morbidly funny.”–Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review“Creepily over the top. . . Snappier than ever.”–The Oregonian“Like a breath of fresh air blowing across all of crime-novel conventions, there is Dexter.”–The Denver PostDearly Devoted Dexter is fascinating, entertaining, and brilliant. Let Jeff Lindsay introduce you to the serial killer next door—Dexter (and his Dark Passenger) are the freshest, most terrifying creations you are ever likely to meet . . . and live to tell about.”—New York Times bestselling author Robert CraisPraise for award-winning Darkly Dreaming Dexter:“A dark and devious novel about Dexter Morgan, the serial killer with a heart . . . Lindsay’s tale is daring and unexpectedly comedic.”—USA Today“A macabre tour de force . . . so snappy and smart.”—The New York Times“It’s [the] human touches, including self-pity, that make Dexter come to life and Lindsay’s book so enjoyable.”—Chicago TribuneFascinating, entertaining, and brilliant.”—Robert Crais
Marilyn Stasio
I honestly didn't think that Jeff Lindsay could get away with a sequel to Darkly Dreaming Dexter, his flamboyantly offbeat debut novel about a witty homicidal maniac who makes a point of killing only those who deserve it. Dearly Devoted Dexter proves me wrong. No less macabre (indeed, rather more gruesome) than its morbidly funny predecessor, the story provides the unorthodox hero with enough subhuman forms of life to sharpen his skills without compromising his identity as ''a well-designed artificial human.''
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Forensic blood-spatter analyst Dexter Morgan is a nice guy who enjoys his job, but what he'd rather be doing is killing people. In this follow-up to 2001's Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dexter is kept from his games of "slice the slasher" (he kills only murderers and pedophiles) by a suspicious Sergeant Doakes. Luckily for listeners, Dexter still finds a way to engage in his grim specialty when a fiendish "doctor" comes to town and leaves his victims brutally butchered, yet alive and crippled. Landrum, who is also an accomplished songwriter, hits all the right notes in this superb audio production, flawlessly matching the sarcastic and sinister tones of the novel. At times lighthearted and good-natured, Landrum's first-person narration of Dexter truly makes the character come alive. His transitions between character voices are perfectly consistent-he handles cocky men, grizzled veterans, tough female cops and demure women with equal flair, including a wonderfully quirky and disturbing voice for the novel's villain. Dexter is the most darkly charming and compelling serial killer since Hannibal Lecter, and this production is a sure-fire candidate for audiobook of the year. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, May 23). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fiction's most lovable serial killer returns in a hilarious follow-up to Lindsay's popular first novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Dexter Morgan, a Miami P.D. blood splatter analyst and ethical serial killer, is in a funk: his police department arch-nemesis, Captain Doakes, who rightly believes that Dexter is guilty of illegal behavior, is shadowing him. Unable to satisfy his hunger for killing, Dexter must resort to playing the role of a normal human, spending countless hours with girlfriend Rita and her children. So when a new serial killer with Doakes on his list arrives in Miami, Dexter is excited. Not only does he get to hunt a fellow hunter, but he also sees the opportunity to be rid of Doakes. The only thing worrying him is the involvement of his sister, since she's the only person for whom Dexter has feelings. Everything works in this one, especially the scenes depicting Dexter and his not-quite domestic bliss. There's plenty of graphic violence and dark humor, but Lindsay manages to retain a light edge. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/05.]-Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Oxford, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A second outing for Dexter Morgan, the sociopathic blood-spatter analyst who helps the Miami Police Department catch bad guys when he's not busy killing them himself (Darkly Dreaming Dexter, 2004). Someone took his time with Salvadoran importer Manuel Borges, maybe four to six weeks. By the time the Miami cops discovered his torso-shorn of hair, tongue, lips and limbs, incapable of speech or thought but not dead-some of his earlier do-it-yourself surgeries had actually healed. Fastidious Dexter, who admits that "I do not like blood" even though he makes a living from it, would like nothing better than to clear the case so he can get on with his current project: murdering Steve Reiker, the pedophile children's photographer whose homicidal accomplice Dexter's already executed. But the breaks don't go Dexter's way. First, the case is snatched from the Miami cops by mysterious Beltway heavy-hitter Kyle Chutsky, a former Special Forces colleague of Dexter's nemesis, Sgt. Albert Doakes; then Chutsky himself is snatched and his finger sent to Dexter's sister, Sgt. Deborah Morgan, who's gone sweet on the lug; and Dexter realizes that he's up against nothing less than a serial killer. When will he get his own chance to shine?Not, sad to say, till the very last pages, though he does do yeoman's sleuthing work on the uncompelling mystery. While he's waiting to kill, however, Dexter is never less than brainy, witty and macabre.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400095926
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/19/2006
  • Series: Dexter Series, #2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 63,978
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFF LINDSAY is the author of Darkly Dreaming Dexter. He lives in South Florida with his wife and three daughters.

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Read an Excerpt


It’s that moon again, slung so fat and low in the tropical night, calling out across a curdled sky and into the quivering ears of that dear old voice in the shadows, the Dark Passenger, nestled snug in the backseat of the Dodge K-car of Dexter’s hypothetical soul.

That rascal moon, that loudmouthed leering Lucifer, calling down across the empty sky to the dark hearts of the night monsters below, calling them away to their joyful playgrounds. Calling, in fact, to that monster right there, behind the oleander, tiger-striped with moonlight through the leaves, his senses all on high as he waits for just the right moment to leap from the shadows. It is Dexter in the dark, listening to the terrible whispered suggestions that come pouring down breathlessly into my shadowed hiding place.

My dear dark other self urges me to pounce–now–sink my moonlit fangs into the oh-so-vulnerable flesh on the far side of the hedge. But the time is not right and so I wait, watching cautiously as my unsuspecting victim creeps past, eyes wide, knowing that something is watching but not knowing that I am here, only three steely feet away in the hedge. I could so easily slide out like the knife blade I am, and work my wonderful magic–but I wait, suspected but unseen.

One long stealthy moment tiptoes into another and still I wait for just the right time; the leap, the outstretched hand, the cold glee as I see the terror spread across the face of my victim–

But no. Something is not right.

And now it is Dexter’s turn to feel the queasy prickling of eyes on his back, the flutter of fear as I become more certain that something is now hunting me. Some other night stalker is feeling the sharp interior drool as he watches me from somewhere nearby–and I do not like this thought.

And like a small clap of thunder the gleeful hand comes down out of nowhere and onto me blindingly fast, and I glimpse the gleaming teeth of a nine-year-old neighbor boy. “Gotcha! One, two, three on Dexter!” And with the savage speed of the very young the rest of them are there, giggling wildly and shouting at me as I stand in the bushes humiliated. It is over. Six-year-old Cody stares at me, disappointed, as though Dexter the Night God has let down his high priest. Astor, his nine-year-old sister, joins in the hooting of the kids before they skitter off into the dark once more, to new and more complicated hiding places, leaving me so very alone in my shame.

Dexter did not kick the can. And now Dexter is It. Again.

You may wonder, how can this be? How can Dexter’s night hunt be reduced to this? Always before there has been some frightful twisted predator awaiting the special attention of frightful twisted Dexter–and here I am, stalking an empty Chef Boyardee ravioli can that is guilty of nothing worse than bland sauce. Here I am, frittering away precious time losing a game I have not played since I was ten. Even worse, I am IT.

“One. Two. Three–” I call out, ever the fair and honest gamesman.

How can this be? How can Dexter the Demon feel the weight of that moon and not be off among the entrails, slicing the life from someone who needs very badly to feel the edge of Dexter’s keen judgment? How is it possible on this kind of night for the Cold Avenger to refuse to take the Dark Passenger out for a spin?

“Four. Five. Six.”

Harry, my wise foster father, had taught me the careful balance of Need and Knife. He had taken a boy in whom he saw the unstoppable need to kill–no changing that–and Harry had molded him into a man who only killed the killers; Dexter the no-bloodhound, who hid behind a human-seeming face and tracked down the truly naughty serial killers who killed without code. And I would have been one of them, if not for the Harry Plan. There are plenty of people who deserve it, Dexter, my wonderful foster-cop-father had said.

“Seven. Eight. Nine.”

He had taught me how to find these special playmates, how to be sure they deserved a social call from me and my Dark Passenger. And even better, he taught me how to get away with it, as only a cop could teach. He had helped me to build a plausible hidey-hole of a life, and drummed into me that I must fit in, always, be relentlessly normal in all things.

And so I had learned how to dress neatly and smile and brush my teeth. I had become a perfect fake human, saying the stupid and pointless things that humans say to each other all day long. No one suspected what crouched behind my perfect imitation smile. No one except my foster sister, Deborah, of course, but she was coming to accept the real me. After all, I could have been much worse. I could have been a vicious raving monster who killed and killed and left towers of rotting flesh in my wake. Instead, here I was on the side of truth, justice, and the American way. Still a monster, of course, but I cleaned up nicely afterward, and I was OUR monster, dressed in red, white, and blue 100 percent synthetic virtue. And on those nights when the moon is loudest I find the others, those who prey on the innocent and do not play by the rules, and I make them go away in small, carefully wrapped pieces.

This elegant formula had worked well through years of happy inhumanity. In between playdates I maintained my perfectly average lifestyle from a persistently ordinary apartment. I was never late to work, I made the right jokes with coworkers, and I was useful and unobtrusive in all things, just as Harry had taught me. My life as an android was neat, balanced, and had real redeeming social value.

Until now. Somehow, here I was on a just-right night playing kick the can with a flock of children, instead of playing Slice the Slasher with a carefully chosen friend. And in a little while, when the game was over, I would take Cody and Astor into their mother, Rita’s, house, and she would bring me a can of beer, tuck the kids into bed, and sit beside me on the couch.

How could this be? Was the Dark Passenger slipping into early retirement? Had Dexter mellowed? Had I somehow turned the corner of the long dark hall and come out on the wrong end as Dexter Domestic? Would I ever again place that one drop of blood on the neat glass slide, as I always did–my trophy from the hunt?

“Ten! Ready or not, here I come!”

Yes, indeed. Here I came.

But to what?

It started, of course, with Sergeant Doakes. Every superhero must have an archenemy, and he was mine. I had done absolutely nothing to him, and yet he had chosen to hound me, harry me from my good work. Me and my shadow. And the irony of it: me, a hardworking blood-spatter-pattern analyst for the very same police force that employed him–we were on the same team. Was it fair for him to pursue me like this, merely because every now and then I did a little bit of moonlighting?

I knew Sergeant Doakes far better than I really wanted to, much more than just from our professional connection. I had made it my business to find out about him for one simple reason: he had never liked me, in spite of the fact that I take great pride in being charming and cheerful on a world-class level. But it almost seemed like Doakes could tell it was all fake; all my handmade heartiness bounced off him like June bugs off a windshield.

This naturally made me curious. I mean, really; what kind of person could possibly dislike me? And so I had studied him just a little, and I found out. The kind of person who could possibly dislike Debonair Dexter was forty-eight, African American, and held the department’s record for the bench press. According to the casual gossip I had picked up, he was an army vet, and since coming to the department had been involved in several fatal shootings, all of which Internal Affairs had judged to be righteous.

But more important than all this, I had discovered firsthand that somewhere behind the deep anger that always burned in his eyes there lurked an echo of a chuckle from my own Dark Passenger. It was just a tiny little chime of a very small bell, but I was sure. Doakes was sharing space with something, just like I was. Not the same thing, but something very similar, a panther to my tiger. Doakes was a cop, but he was also a cold killer. I had no real proof of this, but I was as sure as I could be without seeing him crush a jaywalker’s larynx.

A reasonable being might think that he and I could find some common ground; have a cup of coffee and compare our Passengers, exchange trade talk and chitchat about dismemberment techniques. But no: Doakes wanted me dead. And I found it difficult to share his point of view.

Doakes had been working with Detective LaGuerta at the time of her somewhat suspicious death, and since then his feelings toward me had grown to be a bit more active than simple loathing. Doakes was convinced that I’d had something to do with LaGuerta’s death. This was totally untrue and completely unfair. All I had done was watch–where’s the harm in that? Of course I had helped the real killer escape, but what could you expect? What kind of person would turn in his own brother? Especially when he did such neat work.

Well, live and let live, I always say. Or quite often, anyway. Sergeant Doakes could think what he wanted to think, and that was fine with me. There are still very few laws against thinking, although I’m sure they’re working hard on that in Washington. No, whatever suspicions the good sergeant had about me, he was welcome to them. But now that he had decided to act on his impure thoughts my life was a shambles. Dexter Derailed was fast becoming Dexter Demented.

And why? How had this whole nasty mess begun? All I had done was try to be myself.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 399 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 405 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Totally twisted and sick, but fun beyond measure.

    While working for a non-profit I wrote a VISTA grant that brought me in contact with five very bright and wonderful Type-A young people. When they heard me lamenting that I had come to the end of the Odd Thomas series, until another is written, they all recommended Dexter. They told me he was like Odd but with a twist. Oh dear, what a twist he has.

    If anyone had told me I would read a book about a serial killer, root for him, laugh at him and stay up late finishing the book, I would have thought that person to be as insane as Dexter.

    Dexter actually works in the Miami PD Crime Lab as a blood spatter expert, oh yeah, is he ever. There are more crazy characters in all of these books including his "sister" from the foster family that raised him, police department denizens, a girlfriend that is a half-a-bubble off level, her two kids who are future serial killers in the making and the assortment of child molesters that Dexter dispatches via vivisection in each book while tracking down other killers. Dexter has no respect whatsoever for killers who do not clean up their crime scenes.

    These books are pure escapist fare, but loads of fun. They are well written. One of the premium television channels has made a series out of them, but since I have not had a television hook up in my house since 1998, I will have to wait until they put them on DVD to see those. I might also add, they are not for the squeamish.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    Loved it!!!

    The first book was okay...but this one was so much better! The first book was kinda difficult to get through, leading me to think I might not enjoy the series bc of the fact that I had already watched all five seasons of the show before reading the books. But the second book completely changed my mind. This book kept me in suspense, excited to find out what would happen next. I can't wait to read the next five books in the series!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    I love the Dexter series, they are so easy to read! They're fun to read and bring you a total escape. This one is very slow to get going, but really good once you get to the middle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    Lacking change from the first book

    I didn't like it as much as the first book. But maybe that's because not much was added to the overall plot. It was completely drug out...almost like it just kept going and going and going....booooring. I expected more of a story about Doakes as well. It was kinda predictable at times. I did like it, but it was just too similar to the first book. I am hoping the 3rd book goes in a different direction because I can't take much more of the same stuff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The alliteration used in the title is intriguing and very creative.

    Dexter is a whole new kind of serial killer. One can't help but like him and his dark charm. Even though he kills, he only kills those who harm or murder others. In this way, he doesn't seem to be such a bad guy. The way he thinks and talks are so different then anyone else. His dark humor and twisted morals draw people in. Through this book, the reader can enjoy the morbid fun that is Dexter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Crazy Crazy Crazy!

    I have read all three of the dexter book s and I also love the show. I can't wait to see what Jeff writes next. The story about Dexter and his life show how similar it is to anyone else in the world, trying to fit in and deal with the world around us. I hope therwe will be another book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Wild macabre perhaps insane South Florida police procedural

    Miami-Dade police forensics lab blood spatter analyst Dexter ¿the Avenger¿ Morgan obsesses in euphoria when he slices and dices a person, but he also is selective in who he carves up choosing the dregs of society, and psychopaths especially serial killers. He recently notched number forty, homicidal pedophile photographer Steve Reiker and eagerly awaits his next victim..................... A serial slicer Danco apparently leisurely over a few weeks surgically removes extremities from his victims who he keeps alive as he slowly mutilates them one body part at a time. When a still alive Salvadoran Manuel Borges is found, he has no body part hanging off his torso the medical examiner estates he underwent at least a month of torture as some of the slits left by the carved off body part healed. Dexter admires this newcomer to the slice and dice game, but also decides to stop this rival although some DC outsider Kyle Chutsky claims lead until he is abducted and loses a finger with more to follow. Now Dexter goes hunting to find the killer....................... As with DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER, DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER is a wild macabre perhaps insane South Florida police procedural starring a psychopathic hero who enjoys the finer things in life, eviscerating serial killers. How crazy Dexter is comes out loud clear when unlike his peers and his adversary in the police department who are horrified by Danco¿s work, the Avenger recognizes a fellow artisan albeit one that he must stop. Readers expecting a High Noon showdown between two professional slashers will enjoy the duel when it occurs but will wait for quite a while as Dexter the sleuth investigates................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Love it

    They just keep getting better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    If you love the TV Series, you will LOVE the books.

    The TV series is loosely based on these books, but there is soooo much more here. And very different!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    addicted to dexter

    i've been into the show for a while, but just started the books, the first one was'nt great, but this one, simply amazing. i can't wait to finish the series, i'm only on the third one now, but from the sounds of it this one is shaping up to be the best... they so should of used dr.danco in the show, would of been great :).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Great book.

    It is nothing like the show (what book is?) But it was still a good read :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012


    I started to watch Dexter on showtime like many people. Then I learned that it came from this series of books. I was a little afraid to start them, because I thought that they would ruin the show for me. But I was very wrong. Because the book series and the Showtime series are both so different from one another. The difference is what is so interesting. And makes reading and watching the shows both entertaining. Because they are so different from one another. Jeff you have hooked me on your Dexter!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Another good book

    This is a better and more disturbing book than volume one of the Dexter series. The most demented killer in this book is not Dexter, surprisingly. This is not a novel for people with a weak stomach. It gets over-the-top gruesome in this installment.

    There are more scenes where Harry whispers "the rules" into Dexter's ear when he desperately needs his help. Strangely enough, an additional resource for Dexter comes to him in the form of his dark passenger, especially when other killers are involved. I really like the way that the author allows us unfettered access to the mind of a killer of killers in many varied situations.

    The descriptions of the need to kill and the release felt after a "play-date" seem similar to those described by real serial killers. These true to life comparisons make Dexter a more believable character. It also has the effect of making it all the more dark and disturbing, too. But, that is one of the main attractions to the Dexter series.

    It is a great series, so far! I highly recommend it to those with a strong constitution. Dexter is becoming more well developed as a character in each installment. I will definitely be reading more.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Another Great Read

    The second book was better than the first...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012


    Good read. On to the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Gotta love Dexter!

    As i watch this season of Dexter, i feel like i understand him more having read books one and two. Though they are very different than seasons one and two, Dexter is still Dexter. Just exposed more by the written word. On to book three......

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Dark and Humorous As Usual, Lindsay Just Gets Better.

    After Lindsay set a superb foundation in the first novel in the series, it's no surprise that the second book improves so well on the series. With more insight into the protagonist's mind, and an incredibly menacing enemy, Dearly Devoted Dexter expands on the character and manages to keep the reader interested(and sometimes disgusted) throughout.
    The briefly mentioned detective from the first book, Sgt. Doakes, has taken an interest in Dexter. Tailing him and watching him wherever he goes, Dexter can find no time to tend to his "Dark Passenger". To lead him off the trail, Dexter spends all of his nights with his girlfriend Rita. This causes conflict within Dexter, and he must balance the two lives he leads. To top it off, an associate from Doakes's past comes back and attacks people in Miami, using unimaginable methods to get what he wants.
    Lindsay's writing has only improved since we last saw it; Dexter is wittier, darker, and much more intriguing as a character this time around. Our always alliterative narrator is just full of hysterically funny observations and insightful musings about the population that surrounds him.
    How much this next point matters to other readers I have no idea, but it was incredibly important for me. The villain in this novel, especially compared to the first novel, is incredibly menacing and quite possibly the most evil person I've ever seen in literature. And while he might not have been explored as much as I would have liked, his methods of revenge are sure to stick with you after the book is closed.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Love the Books... just as much as the show!

    Started reading the books because I was sick of watching the Dexter series rerun. I love how Mr Lindsay have Dexter such a lively and hilarious sense of humor. I also love that the storyline is so different from the television show. Good series, that will make you laugh and biting your nails until the end. Easy-read, great for lounging by the pool, vacation reading or before bed book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011


    This book seriously gave me nightmares! I started it 2 days ago and had nightmares the last 2 nights. I just finished! This book grabbed me 292 pages ago and would not let go! I am on my way to pick up the 3rd now! The twists and turns in this book makes you deliciously dizzy!! Wish me luck and pray for me!

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  • Posted August 31, 2011


    Fellow bookseller ar B&N recomended the series, have really enjoed thse first two

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