“Dearly Devoted Dexter”
by Jeff Lindsay
Read by Nick Landrum
Published by Recorded Books (2008)
Approx 9.5 hours

My book choice process has no pattern to it.  This last time around was actually a recommendation from my nephew.  He handed me a paperback copy of “Dearly Devoted Dexter,” while asking if I had ever seen the TV series.  I had never seen the series but heard it was interesting.  After all a serial killer that works for the police and only chops up bad guys kind of grabs your attention.  Well, my nephew told me the books were really good and handed me this one.  I wanted to read the book but I had two other books given to me by publishers that had priority and I kept putting this off.  Finally I decide I couldn’t wait no more and found an audio book version and loaded it onto my iPod.  But then I had copies of audio books from publishers I had to get to and I found myself listening to this part time while listening to the other books.  Finally I got so interested in the story I had to put the others aside for a bit and dedicate myself to this one.

Yeah, the story is that intriguing.  After I got about halfway through this book I started looking up information on the author in preparation for this review and found out this was the second in the series of five (so far) books.   I was surprised because It didn’t seem any backstory was needed.  The author took the time to explain anything that had existed before and this story was a stand-alone story.  While I didn’t miss anything by not reading the previous book, I am definitely going back and reading or listening to the first book.  Jeff Lindsay wrote with a constant mystery and knew how to weave in every detail that in the end all the clues fell into place while at the same time I was on the edge of my seat with some great thrills, mystery and even a few chills.

Dexter Morgan is a forensic blood spatter pattern analyst for the Miami Police Department.  That’s his day job.  By night and especially around the full moon his “dark passenger” takes over.  The “dark passenger” is a serial killer that lives inside Dexter.  Dexter has honed his talent through his life with the help of his foster-father who was a police officer.  He taught Dexter that his “talent” for killing can be used for good.  When a known killer escapes justice on a technicality Dexter can make sure the criminal can never do harm again.  Once Dexter has delivered his justice, he keeps a souvenir of a blood drop on a slide, which he keeps a collection of in his home.

Dexter’s sister, Deborah, knows of Dexter’s darker side yet seems to ignore it for the most part.  Deborah has recently been taken off vice, where she had to always pose as a prostitute for sting operations, and moved to homicide where she now uses her talent along with help from her brother’s darker side to solve crimes.

Dexter has an enemy in the form of Sgt. Doakes.  Doakes does not trust Dexter and does everything he can to make life hell for Dexter.

Those are the main characters of the series that you need to know of so far.  Let’s talk about this book now.   The book opens with Dexter tracking down a child-killer/pedophile in order to serve his dark justice.  He investigates the killer by sneaking on to his boat to find absolute proof, the code of Harry (Dex’s father) says to always make sure.  When Dexter finds photos of the dead children and the man in the photos the same as the one he’s tracking Dexter has his proof and proceeds to chop the man in pieces, and keeping a drop of blood as a souvenir.  In the process Dexter realizes some other person was there taking the photos.  When the victim won’t tell him who it is Dexter searches for more clues.  Just as he finds who the 2nd party is a wrench is thrown into the works.

Sgt. Doakes decides that he is going to catch Dexter.  To do so Doakes follows Dexter everywhere he goes and even parks outside Dexter’s home as if on a stake out.  This seriously inhibits Dexter’s plans to get the second man in his dark justice system.  This not only frustrates Dexter but also, and maybe worse, frustrates Dexter’s Dark Passenger.

Soon though, a case comes up in that involves Doakes, Deborah, Dexter and a mysterious government agency.  A body is found with all the limbs removed and all facial features as well.  Leaving what Dexter refers to as a “squealing pillow.”  Some evil person has sugically removed all the limbs while the victim is alive and medicated (to stay conscious) and in front of a mirror so the victim can contemplate their hideous mutilation.

Dexter, having been forced to suppress his own psychopathic urges by the suspicious Doakes, welcomes the distraction and begins to focus on hunting down the second possible child killer. However, Dexter finds himself drawn into the case of the mysterious “Dr. Danco” when his sister Deborah’s new boyfriend, detective Kyle Chutsky, turns out to be on the torturer’s hit list, as well as Sgt. Doakes.

Amidst all the chaos, Dexter finds himself accidentally engaged to his girlfriend Rita, and begins to suspect Rita’s children Astor and Cody of having sociopathic tendencies of their own.

The book is written in first person and the delivery of the reader, Nick Landrum is so perfect that you feel as if Dexter is talking to you directly.    I think I’m gonna go with audiobook versions of the rest of this series because Nick Landrum is so good at his job.

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