Double Dexter (Dexter Series #6)

Double Dexter (Dexter Series #6)

by Jeff Lindsay


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“Like a breath of fresh air blowing across all crime-novel conventions, there is Dexter.” —Time

Dexter Morgan is not your average serial killer. He enjoys his day job as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department . . . but he lives for his nighttime hobby of hunting other killers. Dexter is therefore not pleased to discover that someone is shadowing him, observ­ing him, and copying his methods. Dexter is not one to tol­erate displeasure . . . in fact, he has a knack for extricating himself from trouble in his own pleasurable way.

Like the previous five best-selling novels in the Dexter series, Double Dexter showcases the witty, macabre origi­nality that has propelled Jeff Lindsay to international suc­cess. Double Dexter is raucously entertaining . . . full of smart suspense and dark laughs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307474933
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Series: Dexter Series , #6
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 267,307
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

JEFF LINDSAY is the New York Times best-selling author and creator of the Dexter novels, most recently Dexter Is Delicious. He lives in south Florida with his wife and three daughters. His novels are the inspiration for the hit Showtime and CBS series Dexter.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Of course there are clouds. They take over the sky and hide that pulsing swollen moon that is clearing its throat above them. The slow trickle of its light is there—but any possible glimmer is hidden, invisible behind the clouds that have rolled in low and bloated and so very full. Soon the clouds will open up and pour down a heavy summer rain, so very soon, because they, too, are full of what they must do, full to the point of bursting, so very full that they, too, must work to hold back the flood that absolutely must come, and soon.
Soon—but not now, not yet. They must wait, too, swelling with the power of all that is growing in them, the true and blinding cur- rent of what will come, of what must come when it is right, when it is beyond necessary and into the true shape of this moment, when it forges the real and necessary skeleton of now
But that time is not yet here, not yet. And so the clouds glower and bunch and wait, letting the need build, and the tension grows with it. It will be soon; it has to be soon. In only a few moments these dark and silent clouds will shatter the silence of the night with the unbearable bright omnipotence of their might and blast the darkness into flickering shards—and then, only then, the release will come.
The clouds will open up and all the tension of holding in so much weight will flow out in the pure bliss of letting go, and the clean joy of it will pour out and flood the world with its oh-so-happy gift of light and liberation.
That moment is near, so tantalizingly close—but it is not yet. And so the clouds wait for that just-right moment, growing their darkness, swelling even bigger and heavier with shadow, until they absolutely must let go.
And here below, in the lightless night? Here on the ground, in the stark pool of shadow these clouds have made with their moon-sheltering sky-hogging sulkiness? What can this be, over there, skyless and dark, sliding through the night so very full and ready and waiting, just like the clouds? And it is waiting, whatever its dark self might be; it waits tense and coiled and watching for that perfect moment to do what it will, what it must, what it has always done. And that moment skitters closer on little mice feet as if it too knows what must come and fears it, and feels the terror of the stalking moment of rightness that is even now pattering up close, closer—until it is right there behind you, looking at your neck and nearly tasting the warm flutter of those tender veins and thinking, Now.
And a shattering blast of lightning shreds the dark night and shows a large and soft-looking man scuttling across the ground, as if he, too, has felt the dark breath so close behind. Thunder booms and lightning flashes again and the figure is closer, juggling a laptop and a manila folder as he fumbles for keys and disappears into darkness again as the lightning ends. One more burst of lightning; the man is very close now, clutching his burden and holding a car key in the air. And he is gone again in black stillness. There is sudden silence, a complete hush, as if nothing anywhere is breathing and even the darkness is holding its breath—
And then there comes a sudden rush of wind and a last hammer of thunder and the whole world cries out, Now.
And all that must happen in this dark summer night begins to happen. The skies open up and let go of their burden, the world begins to breathe again, and here in the newly wet darkness other tensions flex and uncoil so very slowly, carefully, reaching their soft sharp tendrils out toward the fumbling, clownlike figure now scrabbling to unlock his car in this sudden rain. The car’s door swings open, the laptop and folder thump onto the seat, and then the soft and doughy man slides in behind the wheel, slams the door, and takes a deep breath as he wipes the water from his face. And he smiles, a smile of small triumph, something he does a lot these days. Steve Valentine is a happy man; things have gone his way a lot lately and he thinks they have gone his way again tonight. For Steve Valentine, life is very good.
It is also almost over.
Steve Valentine is a clown. Not a buffoon, not a happy caricature of inept normality. He is a real clown, who runs ads in the local papers and hires out for children’s parties. Unfortunately, it is not the bright laughter of childish innocence that he lives for, and his sleight of hand has gotten somewhat out of hand. He has been arrested and released twice when parents pointed out to the police that you don’t really need to take a child into a dark closet to show him balloon animals.
They had to let him go both times for lack of evidence, but Valentine took the hint; from that point on nobody has complained—how could they? But he has not stopped entertaining the children, certainly not. Leopards do not change their spots, and Valentine has not changed his. He just got wiser, darker, as wounded predators do. He has moved on into a more permanent game and he thinks he has found a way to play and never pay.
He is wrong.
Tonight the bill comes due.
Valentine lives in a run-down apartment building just north of Opa-locka airport. The building looks at least fifty years old. Abandoned cars litter the street in front, some of them burned-out. The building shakes slightly when corporate jets fly low overhead, landing or taking off, and that sound interrupts the constant white noise of traffic on the nearby expressway.
Valentine’s apartment is on the second floor, number eleven, and it has a very good view of a rotting playground with a rusting jungle gym, a tilting slide, and a basketball hoop with no net. Valentine has put a battered lawn chair on the balcony of his apartment, placed so he has a perfect view of the playground. He can sit and sip a beer and watch the children play and think his happy thoughts about playing with them.
And he does. He has played with at least three young boys that we know about and probably more. In the last year and a half small bodies have been pulled from a nearby canal on three occasions. They had been sexually abused and then strangled. The boys were all from this neighborhood, which means that their parents are poor and probably in this country illegally. That means that even when their children were killed they had very little to say to the police—and that makes their children perfect targets for Valentine. Three times, at least, and the police have no leads.
But we do. We have more than a lead. We know. Steve Valentine watched those little boys at their games on the playground, and then he followed them away into the dusk and taught them his own very final games and then he put them into the murky trash-filled water of the canal. And he went satisfied back to his decrepit lawn chair, opened a beer, and watched the playground for a new little friend.
Valentine thought he was very clever. He thought he had learned his lesson and found a better way to live out his dreams and make a home for his alternative lifestyle and there was nobody smart enough to catch him and make him stop. Until now he has been right.
Until tonight.
Valentine had not been in his apartment when the cops came to investigate the three dead boys, and that was not luck. That was part of his predator’s cleverness; he has a scanner for listening to police radio traffic. He knew when they were in the area. It would not be often. The police did not like to come to neighborhoods like this one, where the best they could hope for was hostile indifference. That is one reason Valentine lives here. But when the cops do come, he knows about it.
The cops come if they have to, and they have to if Somebody calls 911 to report a couple fighting in apartment eleven on the second floor, and if Somebody says the fight ended suddenly with the sound of screaming terror followed by silence, they come quickly.
And when Valentine hears them on his scanner, coming to his address, to his apartment, he will naturally want to be sure he is somewhere else before they get here. He will take any material he has that hints at his hobby—and he will have some material, they always do—and he will hurry downstairs and out into the darkness to his car, thinking that he can drive away until the radio tells him that things have calmed down again.
He will not think that Someone would bother to look up his car’s registration and know that he drives a light blue twelve-year-old Chevrolet Blazer with Choose Life! plates on it and a magnetic sign on the door that says, Puffalump the Clown. And he will not think that Something might be waiting for him in the backseat of this car, hunched down carefully into the shadows.
He will be wrong about both of those things. Someone does know his car, and Something does wait silently hunkered down on the floor of the dark backseat of the old Chevy, waits while Valentine finishes wiping his face and smiling his secret smile of small triumph and finally—finally—puts the key in the ignition and starts the engine.
And as the car sputters into life, the moment comes, suddenly, finally, and Something roars up and out of the darkness and snakes a blinding-fast loop of fifty-pound-test nylon fishing line around Valentine’s doughy neck and pulls it tight before he can say anything more than, “Guck—!” and he begins to flail his arms in a stupid, weak, pitiful way that makes Someone feel the cold contemptuous power running up the nylon line and deep into the hands holding it. And now the smile has melted from Valentine’s face and flowed instead onto ours and we are there so close behind him that we can smell his fear and hear the terrified thumping of his heart and feel his lack of breath and this is good.
“You belong to us now,” we tell him, and our Command Voice hits him like a jolt of the lightning that crackles outside now to punctuate the darkness. “You will do just what we say and you will do it only when we say it.” And Valentine thinks he has something to say about that and makes a small wet sound and so we pull the noose tight, very tight, just for a moment, so he will know that even his breath belongs to us. His face goes dark and his eyes bulge out and he raises his hands to his neck and his fingers scrabble madly at the noose for a few seconds until everything goes dark for him and his hands slide down into his lap and he slumps forward and begins to fade away and so we ease up on the noose because it is still too soon, much too soon for him.
His shoulders move and he makes a sound like a rusty ratchet as he takes in one more breath, one more in the quickly dwindling number of breaths he has left to him, and because he does not yet know that the number is so very small he takes another quickly, a little easier, and he straightens up and wastes his precious air by croaking, “What the fuck!”
A string of nasty mucus drips from his nose and his voice sounds cramped and raspy and very irritating and so we pull once more on the noose, a little more gently this time, just enough so he will know that we own him now, and he very obediently gapes and clutches at his throat and then goes silent. “No talking,” we say. “Drive.”
He looks up and into the rearview mirror and his eyes meet ours for the very first time—only the eyes, showing cool and dark through the slits cut in the sleek silk hood that covers our face. For just a moment he thinks he will say something and we twitch the noose very gently, just enough to remind him, and he changes his mind. He looks away from the mirror, puts the car in gear, and drives.
We steer him carefully south, encouraging him now and then with small tugs on the noose, just to keep that one thought in his mind that even breathing is not automatic and will not happen unless we say so, and he is very good for most of the trip. Only one time at a stoplight does he look back at us in the mirror and clear his throat and say, “What are you—where are we going?” and we pull very hard on his leash for a long moment and let his world go dim.
“We are going where you are told to go,” we say. “Just drive, and do not talk, and you might live a little longer.” And that is enough to make him behave, because he does not yet know that soon, so very soon, he will not want to live a little longer, because living as he will come to know it is a very painful thing.
We steer him carefully along side streets and into an area of battered newer houses. Many of them are empty, foreclosed, and one of them in particular has been selected and prepared and we drive Valentine to this place, down a quiet street and under a broken streetlight and into an old-fashioned carport attached to this house and we make him park the car at the back of the carport, where it cannot be seen from the road, and turn off the engine.

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Double Dexter 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 99 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Jeff Lindsay book I have read. His writing is very well done. I purchased the book as I am a fan of the Dexter TV series. The characters are the same but much different story lines. I really enjoyed reading this book and all the twists and turns it provided. A fantastic book for the Dexter fans.
Penned-in-Ink More than 1 year ago
When Dexter finds himself on the receiving end of a serial killer's stalking, things get interesting. It's just a tad slow in the beginning, but picks quickly and you're back on the Dexter Express. It's interesting to watch Dexter as he grows in both of his rolls: "normal" human vs serial killer of those who have abdicated the right to live (according to Dexter's/Harry's Rules). Am eagerly awaiting the next installment as the character's interpersonal links and frictions continue to develop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good installment from Dexter although for much of this one he is off on his own and away from the characters that he works with. A few loose ends left to wrap up but it ended at a breakneck pace. I couldn't read the last 75 pages fast enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeff Lindsay doesn't disappoint. I've read every single Dexter book and each one is a masterpiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tore through this book like a maniac! Loved it! Worth every penny.
Lilac_Wolf More than 1 year ago
Silly me - I had no idea Dexter was based on a series of books. My husband and I saw most of season one, when it aired on CBS. I don't think it came back because with all the censoring of language and gore, each episode was only 5 minutes long. The cover, with the double blood-covered knives sets the creepy stage. I was actually surprised how creepy Dexter really is. In the series you get the feeling that he really is a decent guy with a serial killing bend. But no, he's a psychopath all the way. The only reason he follows the rules is to stay out of jail. The only person he really loves is his daughter. He married his wife basically because it helps him blend in more and she's a great cook. The kids are psycho too, and Dexter is taking them in hand to mold them to be like him. That's what creeps me out - instead of getting them help he is encouraging them. The baby girl is the only one with a chance of growing up normal. The story is from Dexter's perspective, so it does leave all the other characters slightly 2 dimensional. It works in this case. The point being, Dexter doesn't know how to read other people, remember he's psychopathic? In the beginning Dexter is "playing" with a guy who dresses up like a clown to prey on children. Dexter does pick people you don't mind him killing. The clown had been taking boys from the park near his hotel/apartment. When he was done with them, he disposed of their bodies nearby in a sewer tunnel. Dexter knew this was a bad egg. He's all set up and working in an abandoned house (isn't the foreclosure crisis grand?) when someone happens in and sees him. The witness leaves so fast that Dexter can't catch him. He then spends most of the book tracking this guy down. Mostly I enjoyed the story. But if Dexter was really worried about this guy, he would have made it more of a priority to find him. Instead it was a spare time hobby, most nights spent doing nothing more than seeing his family. Although perhaps Rita's erratic behavior was puzzling him. Even though he doesn't get people, there is enough description that we readers can guess what is going on. Trust me, you'll know Rita's problem LONG before Dexter does. Oh and Dexter's brother makes a comeback. He comes over every Friday for dinner and puts on the charm for Rita. He wants Dexter to join him. I thought Dexter had murdered his brother, but then again I can't really remember and the books and the TV show aren't exactly the same. Honestly I like this book better than the show. I may find Dexter extra creepy but it made for a tense, thrilling story. So yes, if you like Dexter, then read this book. And as someone who has not read any other Dexter book, you can just pick it up and read it. You might get a little confused when he talks about the rules of Harry. Well when Dexter was little his brother and he witnessed the very brutal murder of their mother (parents?) and were locked up with the mess. Harry, a police officer on the case, adopted Dexter. He saw what Dexter was going to be, and shaped him to only go after bad guys and only after he had proof they were indeed guilty. So Dexter has his outlet but in a useful way...kinda...even Dexter realizes it's wrong he is powerless to stop himself. So I guess if you have to better to go after people who are truly wasting air?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There has been a fluffy feel to the Dexter series of late, with children (warped ones), love interests (sort of) and some internal rambling monologues (some still present). Lindsay returns to top form in Double Dexter, a book full to the brim of self-loathing and a killer plot which twists and turns in very unpredictable ways. The dark humour is very similar to that of the first novel; pitch black and the humour derived from Dex's incomprehension of those around him is right on the nail. There are a few predictable plot mechanics which are delivered in a fashion which still shocks and ultimately this is good fun from start to finale. Double Dexter is smart crime fiction in the vein of Hiassen (more Florida based wackiness) and is a great read.
bjh13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun continuation of the series. If you have read the previous books there will be little to surprise you in this one, they all hew pretty closely in style and substance to the original novel, and I find that a good thing. Sometimes you just want an enjoyable novel to read, and I can honestly say every one of the Dexter novels has remained fun. There is little I can say about the plot with providing spoilers. Honestly, it doesn't feel like the plot is different from the last few with a killer hunting Dexter, but the way things are handled in this book along with how his family life is portrayed make this book just as worth reading as the previous ones. I am very glad the author never decided to start following the norms of the television show, the books have stayed humorous and avoided a lot of the pitfalls the series is now trapped with. The differences have grown so severely between the two I would argue they have little in common at this point, and because I prefer the books I find this to be a good thing. If you have read the previous books and liked them, read this one. If you have only seen the tv show, do not start here as you will end up beyond confused with many characters that were dead on the show doing just fine in the book, and most of the characterization of the rest completely different from what Showtime now offers. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, I just hope Jeff Lindsay doesn't take too long to write it.
saramllr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whoops, Dexter slipped up. Someone has seen him engrossed in one of his dark deeds and is now stalking him, threatening to expose him and even kill him. My only problem with this novel was that Dexter all of a sudden seemed very sloppy, very...un-Dexter. Oh, and Rita was extremely annoying in this book, I'm not sure what's going on there. Not the best of the series, but still worth reading if you're a fan.
-Eva- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dexter is spotted during one of his "sessions" and has to hunt the witness, a man who has decided that turning into Dexter's copycat is the best way of getting rid a few of his own enemies as well as getting Dexter in trouble. This series is always an exercise in hit-and-miss, but this installment is luckily one of the better. The mystery part isn't extraordinarily riveting, but finally Lindsay has gone back to the original voices of Dexter and his Dark Passenger, so this is at least a very funny read.
schatzi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dexter is one of the few television shows that I watch, and I like the TV series about as equally as I do the books. There have been some AMAZING seasons for the show - 1 (which is mostly based on the first book anyway), 4 (my second favorite - the writers really pulled out all of the stops), and, to a lesser extent, 2 (the whole Lila thing got a little overly dramatic). And, there have been some amazing books - the first (which is the best) and the second are my favorites. And there have been some real clunkers for the television show (seasons 3, 5, and 6) and the books (ugh, don't get me started on Moloch).So...this book is in the better half of the series, and I've read all of them. Much better than Moloch, but it doesn't capture the charming serial killer from the first book. However, a HUGE plus is that the book series still has Brian making regular appearances; besides Dexter, he's my second favorite character. And he does make a few cameos in this book.I like that the children are "dark" in the books, but they mostly just sit back and play Wii for this one. Only towards the end is there any life shown, and that's mostly Astor (you'll know what I mean when you read the book).My main problem is with Dexter, who has become rather...dull. As in, "not the sharpest knife in his toolkit" dull. Perhaps it is his "domestic bliss" disguise that is finally getting to him (or perhaps too many homecooked meals, which he keeps mentioning ad nauseum in this book), but he just isn't that bright anymore. It took him forever to figure out who his Watcher/Shadow was, and how said W/S was keeping tabs on him. It was totally obvious to anyone reading the book who exactly he was. And Dexter wasn't very smart when he was looking for who drove the Honda; in spite of a major clue dropped into his lap (or, more appropriately, his inbox), he didn't pick it up. At all. I wanted to reach into the pages and shake him.But Lindsay still manages to keep the book relatively entertaining, once you get through the first pages (Dexter waxing upon killing using his signature alliteration is a little over the top), and there are some genuinely funny one-liners and scenes (Dexter vs Nature was hilarious). I'll keep reading, simply because I love the characters, and I need my Dexter fix relatively regularly, no matter how dim-witted he has become.
jpporter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've had the pleasure of reading all of Jeff Lindsey's Dexter series, and I think that, without a doubt Double Dexter is the best of all six. In this outing, Dexter (a sociopathic killer who limits his victims to people who have murdered other people) is meting out justice in his usual fashion. This time, however, a witness happens to see Dexter's handiwork and decides it might be fun to be just like Dexter. Gradually, Dexter finds himself being sucked into an elaborate and diabolical plan designed to bring an end to Dexter, himself.I have always admired Jeff Lindsay's handling of the Dexter character - he provides a fascinating portrait of a person incapable of feeling emotions and who cannot empathize with the emotions of others, except as he has had the opportunity to learn how to mimic empathic responses from his coworkers, wife, and sundry "friends." Dexter's acceptance of himself is insightfully articulated by Lindsay, who seems, book by book, to be getting a firmer, clearer, more exacting sense of what life might be like for someone incapable of emotions. In large part, one gets the feeling that there might not be so much of a difference between someone like Dexter and "real" people, in general - except that Dexter sees his behavior as learned to enable him to fit in with "normal" folk; however, one is always left wondering if Dexter really is that different from "normal" folk.Double Dexter is a tense, suspenseful thriller that will definitely please Dexter-philes, and would also be an entertaining read for anyone who has never read the series (or watched the TV series based on the character). It is one of those rare books that is hard to put down, on the one hand, because it is so well written, but which, on the other hand, you might find yourself forcing yourself to take brief breaks from reading it - some sections are so intense I found myself starting to skip over passages in my eagerness to find out what happens. So a self-imposed time out was needed occasionally to settle down.This is a good read - intelligent, witty, suspenseful, thoroughly satisfying.
Wiliam_Maltese More than 1 year ago
DEXTER STILL A JOY, BUT … Yes, I continue to enjoy the Dexter series of books by Jeff Lindsay which inspired the ShowTime television series of the same name. Having just finished this one, book six, DOUBLE DEXTER, of the eight-books involved, I still continue to appreciate the author’s ability to turn a humorous phrase and make even the most mundane things cleverly amusing. I like the uniqueness of the murders, the one in this book of a variety I don’t recall having ever come across before … and I’ve read an awfully lot of police procedurals. And I haven’t tired of our hero, Dexter Morgan, blood-splatter expert, who just happens to be a murderous sociopath out to rid the world of bad people who have somehow managed to escape the legal system. That said … by this book, six, there are a lot of things I don’t like. Like … our hero’s determination to turn normal, because of a wife, two stepchildren, and a baby; okay, on that point, I’ve never been all that fond of kids, even sociopathic ones like Dexter’s inherited little monsters. And Dexter’s wife, Rita, is a bit of an incoherent whiner. Dexter’s sister continues to come across a bit of a bully, more interested in herself and her career than in Dexter whose dark side Sergeant Deborah seems always out to exploit for her own benefit. And, there seems to be a whole lot of genuinely crazy killers running loose in Miami … who which would see me steering clear of that city; too many of them with the same kind of “Dark Strangers” had by our hero, and way too many of those seemingly unsympathetic to their fellow travelers, even, once again, out to get Dexter, in particular, for reasons I sometimes find not as understandable as the author would have me believe. And more than a couple of things in this plot were telegraphed so obviously that I found it hard to believe that neither Dexter, nor his Dark Stranger, picked up on them as quickly as I did. Again, though, I did enjoy this book, six in the chain, as I have all the books that preceded (with the possible exception of book three), and I will continue to read to the finish (one more book to go, since I’ve already read the last one). I’m just sorry that I’m beginning to wonder, as I’m about finished, if I haven’t somehow experienced too much of a good thing.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Dexter novel is delightful. I have enjoyed the whole series!
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JKathleen More than 1 year ago
When I start a Dexter book, I can't wait to see how it ends, and then I can't wait to start the next. A real fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really grabs you in a choke hold and doesn't let go until your gasping for air.
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Dennis21 More than 1 year ago
Got this and A Serial Killers Guide: Born In Blood which is FREE! I am a huge Dexter fan and are finally finishing up the book series and I am loving it. I hope they continue past season 8 even though they said they won't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, I love the way he writes and it's a good read ... a great read ... However, it is my least favorite of the Dexter series. I feel like Dexter became too afraid/wimpy and scared!!! He is Dexter for goodness sake ... henacted like a kid afraid of the boogyman for a good portion of the book. Some parts it also seemed too obvious what was going on amd that Dexter was just not using his brain anymore, although that was sorta addressed with him being comfortable as Daddy Dexter. The ending was good ... not quite excellent. I would have involved Cody. It seemed to lack being that thr whole book built up to that moment. I hate that I sound so negative because I really did enjoy this book! I just expected more from this writer in this series.