Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Well, I finally got around to reading a book I'd been wanting to read for a long time. It's funny, because I truly did want to read it, but I was reluctant because of the subject matter. *SPOILER ALERT* The idea of a sympathetic serial killer isn't really new (all you have to do is pick up a Tim Dorsey book or watch Kevin Costner in the extremely creepy movie, Mr. Brooks), but Darkly Dreaming Dexter is much more complex than that.

Dexter is a brilliant yet very damaged individual who was raised by a cop. His adoptive sister is a cop. He himself is a blood-spatter expert for the Miami police department, which is ironic because blood itself is at the root of all his problems. Bottom line, Dexter's cop father knew that his adoptive son was different; he knew that Dexter had an urge to kill that would one day find an outlet. So, as he lay dying, he basically gave good old Dex permission to kill those people who truly deserved it - the priest who raped and murdered little girls, the piece of scum who kidnapped children and sold them to child pornography rings, the sadistic nurse who liked to poison her elderly patients. I won't give away the entire plot, but I have to give the author, Jeff Lindsay, a tremendous amount of credit, on many levels, because he:

1) Kept me guessing (along with Dexter) until the very end of the book about how bad Dexter actually was.

2) Made me almost like Dexter (I say almost, because quite frankly, I don't think we're supposed to like Dexter, just be fascinated by the intricacies of the human mind, and Dexter's in particular).

3) Didn't gross me out too badly. (While I love the spooky stuff, I hate horror, so I was ready to be very squeamish about this book.)

I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it, even the gory parts. :-) I'll be picking up the other books in this series, too. But I'll read them over time, not right away. A little Dexter goes a long way. :-)

Have you ever read a book that made you squirm? Made you want to close it and put it away, but you couldn't because you just HAD to find out what happened next?


Lisa said...

Pretty much any Stephen King novel I ever read falls into that category. :)

Terri said...

Oo, I love Stephen King. I just finished DUMA KEY, and it was really good.

If you look over to the right at "What I'm Reading", you'll see Joe Hill's HEART-SHAPED BOX - Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. :-)