Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dexter's Final Cut, by Jeff Lindsay- Review

From Goodreads:
Hollywood gets more than it bargained for when television's hottest star arrives at the Miami Police Department and develops an intense, professional interest in a camera-shy blood spatter analyst named Dexter Morgan.

Mega-star Robert Chase is famous for losing himself in his characters. When he and a group of actors descend on the Miami Police Department for "research," Chase becomes fixated on Dexter Morgan, the blood spatter analyst with a sweet tooth for doughnuts and a seemingly average life. To perfect his role, Chase is obsessed with shadowing Dexter's every move and learning what really makes him tick. There is just one tiny problem . . . Dexter's favorite hobby involves hunting down the worst killers to escape legal justice, and introducing them to his special brand of playtime. It's a secret best kept out of the spotlight and away from the prying eyes of bloated Hollywood egos if Dexter wants to stay out of the electric chair. The last thing he needs is bright lights and the paparazzi. . . but even Dexter isn't immune to the call of fame.

I was recently asked on Goodreads, if I would recommend this series to fans of the show. It's a pretty legitimate question, for the most part I can't imagine reading a long running book series and watching the long running show that was created from it, but in this instance they are very different animals. And after watching all the way through to the series finale of the TV show, I have to once again bow down to Lindsay's prowess as an author, these books are the far superior product.  Yes there are similarities, but where the stories split apart Lindsay always wins. Creatively, in humour and of course, in fairness to these characters.  Deb will never be more foul mouthed, dedicated to what's right and hard to deal with then in Lindsay's writing. Rita will be the most dithering Rita, and Dexter is funny and insightful in a way he never is in the TV show.  Don't even get me started on Cody and Astor!

Dexter's Final Cut is the seventh book in the series, and I'm always impressed by how Lindsay keeps the storyline fresh and surprising. If there is one thing you'll hear online about this book is THAT ENDING!!  It was a perfect example of how Lindsay still has the ability to sideswipe his readers with exciting twists, while remaining true to characters his readers know well.  Seriously, that ending might drive me crazy waiting for book 8.

Lindsay has a very unusual sort of dry humour that he uses very effectively through Dexter's voice, and I loved watching it turn to Hollywood for this particular story. I briefly worked in film, and worked set for both major motion pictures and small budget television, and I can't tell you how accurately he nailed, well, basically all of it.
Making filmic art is a lot harder than most of us ever appreciate. You might think that something as simple as filming bad guys killing Dexter would be a very easy thing. After all, look at all the wonderful little movies we all make every day with our cell phones. But the real thing, like we were now making, is much harder. There are many small actions that have to be coordinated perfectly, lights and reflectors that need to be moved around, sound booms lifted in and out, and several fits of ritual yelling at people by the director. And then finally, when everything is just right, a jet goes overhead and ruins the sound so you have to start all over again.
I'll tell you, one of my very first set calls was a night shoot for a TV movie, where at about 4am, when everyone started to slow down with the stupidity only desperate lack of sleep can cause, the director suddenly blew control of his temper and chased an AD across the track field yelling at her. I also shot a TV show in this crumbling building, they were using as a studio, where we were constantly stopping filming during rush hour because of the noise of the commuter trains roaring by every five minutes.  So not only has Lindsay nailed what being on set is like, he has summed it up in a way that makes even me laugh. Impressive, since I'll tell you there's nothing funny about working through these crazy situations, where often times the people surrounding you are just as crazy as the circumstances.  Don't even ask me about method actors.

Granted, the lovable serial killer, up to his neck in murderous adventure (generally to his detriment) is not everyones cup of tea.  But Lindsay long ago won my heart with this Daffy dude full of Dexter Daring and nefarious fun.
I had been commanded to tow him through the stormy waters of my life in forensics, and so tow I must. And I have to admit that at least Chase was diligent. He showed up every morning, almost exactly at the same time I did. Friday morning he even brought in a box of doughnuts. I must have looked surprised, because he smiled at me and said, "That's what you do, right?"
"Sometimes I do," I admitted.
He nodded. "I asked around about you," he said. "They all told me, 'Dexter does doughnuts.'" And he grinned at me as if alliteration was some kind of wonderfully clever form of wit.
So if you're looking for the lighter side of thriller for your Halloween reading fun, then look no further than this latest contribution to a stellar series. I'm certainly even more of a fan then I was at book five or even six.

Dexter's Final Cut, by Jeff Lindsay
Published by Doubleday, September 17th, 2013
My copy kindly provided by the publisher

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