Author: Jeff Lindsay
American release date: October 18, 2011
Format/Genre/Length: Novel/Horror/352 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Dexter Morgan is very meticulous and very good at what he does, making sure to follow the Code of Harry in picking whom to focus his attentions on. Steve Valentine certainly fits the mandatory profile—subhuman, pedophilic killer of innocent boys. He never sees it coming. Dexter has planned everything to the nth degree for Valentine’s demise. What he hasn’t counted on is being witnessed in the act.
From the moment that Dexter realizes he’s been spied on, things in his life take a downward spiral. A policeman has been found dead—completely bludgeoned to death, horrifically so, the killer apparently having broken every bone in his body while he was still alive. The corpse is virtually unrecognizable, until Deborah manages to identify him by his bald spot. Rita is acting strangely, even for Rita, and Dexter notices she’s drinking a lot of wine. And giving him strange looks for no apparent reason. Astor needs and receives braces, and proceeds to moan about them every chance she gets. And Brian begins carting the family around on real estate tours, as Rita is convinced that they need a bigger home. And yet she finds problems with every single house they look at. And her cooking, the staple of Dexter’s existence, is becoming more and more non-existent.
Can things get any worse?
Yes, and they do. Dexter is determined to discover the identity of his unwanted witness, especially once the guy in question begins to taunt him with the knowledge of his actions. According to Dexter’s instincts, this guy’s gotta go, but he has to find him first. When Dexter unexpectedly becomes a suspect in the continuing cop killers, he has no one to turn to—Doakes is hot on his case, along with his newest bestest buddy, Detective Hood.
When did Dexter’s life get so complicated? Can he bring it all back to normal again, before he’s indicted and convicted for murders he didn’t actually commit?
Another fine entry in the Dexter Morgan series. I still think it’s a shame that the Showtime series diverged from the books, because I like having brother Brian around at times, and Rita too. This time we find Dexter less than in charge of the situation, and getting a little bit flustered, revealing more of his human side. But being Dexter, we can’t help but know that he’ll find a way out of it somehow. Even if he has to ask for help to do it.
One thing that bothered me in this, and kept my attention long after it was necessary, was the issue with Astor and the braces. She didn’t want them, abhorred the idea of having a mouth full of metal, which is understandable, especially in a child of her age. But I kept asking myself—why don’t they get her invisible braces? Plastic ones? Braces have come a long way since the days of the metal monsters, and Dexter takes place in modern times. It’s a minor point, I know, and the only reason I can see for it is to make Astor crankier, but I kept asking myself: Why metal braces? And I still have no idea.
If you’re enjoying the series, you’ll like this addition to it. And if you like to read more about serial killers, give Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter books a try. They’re sure to please.