Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dexter in the Dark- Review

Jeff Lindsay's third novel in the Dexter series is not my favorite. And while I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, I will say it dragged in a way the previous two did not for me.

Dexter in the Dark finds Dexter in the throws of planning a wedding.  With Rita running around like a whirlwind, Vince insisting on difficult and expensive caterers, and  Dexter trying to fumble his way through it all, it's no wonder Dexter is having trouble sneaking time for his Dark Passenger.  Unfortunately a confusing new killer and a weird incident at a crime scene leave Dexter Dark Passenger less, quite alone in the world and singularly adrift.  How can someone who defines himself by an inner voice, exist without it?  And for that matter, where did it come from in the first place that it could just skitter off ?

I had heard one of the books got a bit esoteric and mystical, but still I was confused by the sudden biblical/demonic turn Dexter in the Dark took.  Instead of dealing with a flesh and blood serial killer, as per the previous books, there were lengthy inner chats about possession, King Solomon and the possibility Dexter would suddenly be normal.  My issue with it, outside of the fact it was a mite boring, was where was the crime in my crime novel?  I mean there were murders but it wasn't about the crime so much as the history lesson.

It was a shame because the wedding fodder was terrific,  Manny the Caterer provided significant entertainment (how was Rita going to make this work? Maybe she'd only invite 2 or 3 people), as did the progression with Cody and Astor and the return of the seriously creepy Doakes.  It was set up to be a great novel, until Lindsay and Dexter got lost contemplating what exactly comes over people to make them serial killers (come on, it sounds interesting right?  but two hundred pages of rambling thought about it got tedious).

I have total faith Jeff Lindsay brings us back to classic Dexter by book four so I'm not throwing in the towel over one slightly boring story.  And I'm still looking forward to the September 7th release of book 5, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to skip this particular book if you're about to start your own Dexter reading marathon.  It doesn't seem to cover any critical ground so I'm pretty sure you can move on to book 4 without any problems.
I'm just saying.

Dexter in the Dark, By Jeff Lindsay
Published by Vintage, Sept 2008

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