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Dexter by Design

de Jeff Lindsay

Séries: Dexter (4)

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1,861709,121 (3.57)53
Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER ? The Dexter series continues with Dexter??s deadliest case yet. ? The Killer Character That Inspired the Hit Showtime Series Dexter
 
After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he??s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard??and Dexter??s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice.  Not to mention that his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight.  The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter??s curiosity and Miami??s finest realize they??ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course… (mais)

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I've begun to ask myself why I keep reading these. The first novel was really good. The second was entertaining. Then came the third novel... we'll just forget about that one it was so odd. No I mean it was ODD.

Obviously this is the fourth novel and as the description mentions Dexter is now married and has two lovely step-children. (I'll let you find out why he adores them so on your own) He returns from his honeymoon - complete with observations about Paris done in Dark Deadly Dexter style. We re-encounter most of the repeat characters, and eventually a plot makes itself known. It should have stayed away.. found another novel perhaps.. better yet beat the author about the ears until it was viable and ready to spring upon the readers.

I think - in the interest of character development perhaps? - Dexter tosses aside the "Rule of Harry" yet again and goes off and gets himself into trouble.. again. (seriously at this rate he'll be arrested by the third chapter of the next book.. no one could be that blind) While a worthwhile antagonist is welcome.. (oh please can we have that story. it'd be SUCH fun) the "opponent" in this book doesn't appear to be the adversary who Dexter was cut out to sharpen his skills against. He's also displaying emotions - despite all his comments to the contrary.

Then there is sister Debbie. While it might intended to be an illustrator of his inability to understand emotion, her behavior and treatment of him (and everyone else) has gone utterly over the top. I didn't pick up that his childhood once he joined the Morgan's was abusive - quite the contrary, it has been portrayed as a loving family situation. He also has indicated emotional bond to all his acknowledged family. Deb is not only extremely rude, she's abusive -- emotionally, mentally manipulative, and lightly on the physical side which includes hitting him (although that is always stated as a punch in the arm although he will avoid it because she repeats the action a few times each episode). Even without the ability to experience emotion that he goes on about this is more than obvious. Sometime in book two I began to ask why she hadn't been reprimanded and counseling introduced. By this book I'm asking wtf she hasn't been fired. Aside from the family dynamics I'd have told her where to get off the bus a while back. If her character seemed to be leading to a point I might not be as strident in my opinion, however her sole purpose seems to be to drag Dexter into a case, prove she's utterly unable to do her job - or be a human being, abuse everyone around her while acting as if it is everyone-else's fault, and not least end up in a life threatening situation that puts Dexter and the rest of those closest to her in imminent (and eminent) danger.

That there isn't much development of characters doesn't help. If Lindsey is headed where I think he is going with Dexter & Co. that would greatly help these books and he doesn't need a great deal of exposition to accomplish it.

I've now finished this and the very last line made me laugh - possibly the only real enjoyment of the whole book. I have the last novel and have begun it but unless something drastically changes I probably will not finish it. Oh and if your interested... the beginning for Dexter is interesting, the first word from Deb enough to make me stop reading. ( )
  Kiri | Dec 24, 2023 |
Returning to Dexter Morgan's world is like catching up with an old friend I haven't seen for a while. Mind you, a friend I don't want to spend too much time with, a friend who's at once fascinating and endearing and scary as hell.

Overall, I enjoyed the 4th instalment of the series. However, I did find a few elements of the plot a little too predictable, and there were times I had to suspend my disbelief more than usual. But Lindsay's expert narrative kept me turning pages quickly. I love the sparks of genuine humour interspersed with the gut-churning macabre, and Dexter is, as always, a genuinely likeable monster.

I'm looking forward to the next one! ( )
  Elizabeth_Cooper | Oct 27, 2023 |
I am not a huge fan of serial killers, but Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series is a fine twist on the genre that has led to at least four novels and a Showtime cable TV series. Unlike most serial killers, Dexter was adopted and raised by a cop named Harry Morgan who knew what Dexter was and--believing that there was no way to change Dexter and not wanting to turn him in--taught Dexter that he should only murder people who are themselves murderers. Dexter is not always able to to stick to "Harry's Code" or "Path," but he tries very hard.

One advantage to the "Code" is that every time Dexter chops up the body of a viscious murderer and distributes the pieces in the gulf stream off the coast of his native Florida, the police do not become terribly anxious to find the body or the killer. Thus Dexter has gotten away with murdering scores of human berings that hardly anyone liked or cared about.

Part of the appeal of Dexter is that the novels (and the TV series) give you Dexter's stream of consciousness as he navigates a world in which he feels like an alien, often referring to himself as soulless, inhuman, and incapable of understanding how he is supposed to maintain the semblance of normal relationships with others when he feels incapable of empathy or even having the least clue as to what they want. (Little does Dexter realize that most of the rest of us feel a little bit that way.)

Of course, Dexter is right that he is more profoundly handicapped than the rest of us in the area of emotional connection or empathy, and part of his appeal, then, is his almost heroic attempt to connect with other human beings as if he were one of us. He has reason to connect. First of all, his day job is that of a forensic blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department. (How ironic is that occupation for a serial killer?) But it means that he has to try to fit in in an office setting where he not only becomes a familiar landmark for his forensic collegue Vince or Detective Angel Batista but they actually think of Dexter as a friend, and Dexter, not sure whether he can actually be anyone's friend, nevertheless accepts that this is as close as he will ever get to friendship.

On top of--or perhaps, rather, beneath these merely social relationships--Dexter has an adopted sister, Deborah, who has followed in their father's footsteps by becoming a police detective. Most amazing of all--especially to Dexter--is that he has married his girlfriend, Rita, and is on the way to adopting her two children. In a chilling twist that is different (so far) from the TV series, Dexter perceives that the children are psychologically damaged, and he has decided to turn them into serial killers like himself.
(That's the toughest part to sympathize with.)

Rita is clueless, of course, in both the novels and the TV series, but
Deb, who did not know that Dexter is a serial killer in the earliest novels and still hadn't found out the last time I watched the TV series, has found out by the time of this novel. At one point, Dexter notes that she does not realize just how many people he has killed, and he is not about to tell her. The main reason that she does not turn Dexter in is that he claims that their father gave his "hobby" the seal of approval. Deb is not sure whether to believe this, but in case it is true, she is hesitant to turn in her brother.

This conflict becomes a factor that propells the plot of this novel. After arguing over Dexter's grisly proclivity in the car while on the way to interview a witness, Deb goes to the witness's front door while Dexter decides he should stay in the car. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he sees the person who answers the door attacking Deb, who then spends the rest of the novel in the hospital.

Suddenly, everybody wants to know exactly what happened, blow-by-blow, and Dexter does not reveal that he didn't go with Deb to the door because they were having a fight. "About what ?" would be the next logical question, and Dexter doesn't want to go there.

Dexter always confronts a villain who is a worse killer than himself, which allows us to root for Dexter. The villain of this novel is a writer turned avant garde artist. (Lindsay makes a dig against his own profession when he inserts a discussion about whether a writer could possibly be a murder suspect and one of his character's allows that writers can be surprisingly dangerous.) This killer is responsible for arranging dead bodies all over Miami in grisly talbeaux.

As a set up, the novel takes us along with Dexter and Rita on their Paris honeymoon, where Dexter is obliged to accompany his new wife on her pilgrimage to art museums. Dexter is disappointed to learn that the Rue Morgue is an invention of classic horror writer Edgar Alan Poe and does not actually exist. At the end of their visit, they go to an avant garde gallery where the exibit involves an artist named Jennifer who has videotaped herself cutting off her own leg. Rita faints. Dexter enjoys Paris for the first time.

It turns out that the artist-turned-killer is influenced by the same school of "art" to which Jennifer belongs even if he is probably not aware of her particular performance piece. His target, at first, is the Miami Tourism Bureau, videotaping his dead body arrangements and uploading them on the Internet with his text for an anti-tourism campaign. Unfortunately for Dexter, our anti-hero soon becomes the killer's new target, and then everyone who is close to him, including Rita and her children. Among other things, Dexter is forced to explore the question of whether his imperative to protect his new family is an unexpected spark of humanity or something else.

This is a pretty good story that I read in a couple of days even though I am a slow reader. It is not quite as good as some of the TV episodes and I suspect that it is not as good as the first novel in the series, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter," which I plan to read that novel some day. This novel is not a good place to start unless you have seen the TV series. Maybe the attempt to make Dexter more human in terms of his inchoate feelings of affection for his wife's children is a bit of a stretch. At the same time, the fact that he can only bond with them to the extent that he thinks of them as potential serial killers like himself is a reminder that Dexter is ultimately an evil man. ( )
  MilesFowler | Jul 16, 2023 |
I can't say it enough, I really enjoy Dexter. I liked this book better than #3, but still not as much as #2 (my fav of the series) or even #1. Unfortunately, I just finished reading #5 and did not review this one before I finished #5, so #5 is fresh in my mind, and #4 is but a mere memory. Anyway, by now, you know if you want to read Dexter or not, if you are already on #4, so what can I tell you that you don't know already? Good book as always, big twist at the end. Enjoy, my review for #5 will at least be a little more in depth. ( )
  MrMet | Apr 28, 2023 |
La macabra e ingeniosa serie con exito de ventas segun el New York Times fue inspiracion para la serie de Showtime # 1, Dexter. En donde un asesino oscuro pero amable hace coincidir a sus victimas con las obras de arte de un artista sadico; esta creando cuadros extranos por todo Miami. Despues de su luna de miel sorprendentemente gloriosa en Paris, la vida es casi normal para Dexter Morgan. La vida matrimonial parece estar de acuerdo con el: esta dedicado a su esposa, su estomago esta lleno, y sus hobbies homicidas estan muy bien bajo control. Pero el descubrimiento de un cadaver que aparece relajado tomando sol bajo una silla de Miami Beach, naturalmente, pica la curiosidad de Dexter y los mejores de Miami dan cuenta de que tienen un terrible asesino en serie. Y Dexter, por supuesto, esta de vuelta en el negocio.
  Natt90 | Dec 22, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 70 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Lindsay is a fairly indifferent writer, prone to clumsy bare-bones action intermittently padded out with equally clumsy swaths of ultra-specific, banal detail, usually about Miami’s lousy traffic, or exactly what Dexter’s eating. His strength has always been in his fascinating characters, his wryly funny tone, and his grotesque imagery. The last element remains in full force here, but in the face of Dexter's fumblings, the jaunty tone is off, and the book often becomes repetitive.
adicionado por Shortride | editarThe A. V. Club, Tasha Robinson (Oct 22, 2009)
 
For fans of such "humor," Jeff Lindsay's new novel, "Dexter by Design," will surely be an enjoyable cup of congealed and gory tea. For others, this book is about as pleasant as a sewer swim, and just about as socially rewarding.
 

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Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER ? The Dexter series continues with Dexter??s deadliest case yet. ? The Killer Character That Inspired the Hit Showtime Series Dexter
 
After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he??s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard??and Dexter??s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice.  Not to mention that his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight.  The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter??s curiosity and Miami??s finest realize they??ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course

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