Dexter Morgan isn’t exactly the kind of man you’d bring home to Mom. Though he’s playful and has a wonderfully ironic sense of humor, Dexter’s one character flaw (his proclivity for murder) can be off-putting. But at heart Dexter is the perfect gentleman, supportive of his sister, Deb, a Miami cop, and interested in doing away with people who really deserve his special visit. Dex is quite good-looking but totally indifferent to (and, frankly, a bit puzzled by) the attentions paid to him by women. Despite the fact that he can’t stand the sight of blood, he works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police department, a job that allows him to keep tabs on the latest crimes and keep an eye open for his next quarry.
Dexter’s well-organized life is suddenly disrupted when a second, much more visible serial killer appears in Miami. Dex is intrigued, even delighted, by the fact that the other killer appears to have a style reminiscent of his own. Yet he can’t help but feel that the mysterious new arrival is not merely invading his turf but reaching out to him as well. This new killer seems to be doing more than copying Dexter–he seems to be saying, “Come out and play.” Dexter’s secret life makes for a lonely existence… even a lovable monster can be intrigued by the prospect of finding a friend. (from dust jacket)
Please forgive me — this review got away from me a bit.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first in a series of books about a sociopath who occasionally helps his cop sister and kills bad people. Oh, and we, as readers, are in his head.
Dexter is short–at only 288 pages, it’s one of the shortest novels I’ve read this year, and it’s a quick read. Dexter is pretty fun, for someone who doesn’t understand or experience emotion. He’s practiced at “being human”, his way of saying he fools people into thinking there’s nothing wrong with him. Even his sister doesn’t really suspect. He is clever and witty, and has no trouble at all telling people how it really is, and even calling people out on their stupidity.
Although the book is really a who-dun-it mystery, Dexter really makes the book. He is entertained by odd things, like a Barbie head hanging from his freezer:
Whee. I had a new hobby. (p. 128)
I will say, however, that the introduction to this character is incredibly unpleasant, and as the book progresses, Dexter’s mind becomes more and more weird. He is fascinated by the moon, and it seems like his “hunting” cycle is dictated by it. He seems to only kill when the moon is full.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes and this question: refrigerated trucks have rear-view mirrors?
If you can’t get me my newspaper on time, how can you expect me to refrain from killing people? (p. 170)
Because, the paper carefully pointed out, how could we believe that two such killers could possibly be on the loose at the same time? (p. 171)
Mutilated corpses with a chance of afternoon showers. (p. 173)