Sunday, February 21, 2010

#9: Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay

Cheery blood spatter expert for the Miami Police by day--and serial killer by night--Dexter Morgan finds himself in the middle of a string of murders that cross over from the art world to the center of Florida tourism in the fourth thriller from Jeff Lindsay, Dexter by Design.

Fans of the TV series might find the Dexter of the books a little more cold-hearted and the storytelling a bit more chilling, though the basic premise--a serial killer trained by his cop foster father to only kill bad guys--is more or less intact. But the TV series has veered away from the books, with significant changes in who lives or dies, and other plot points.

I felt the first two books in the series were pretty strong, but the third a strange misfire, moving from straight crime to a supernatural plot.

Thankfully, Dexter by Design ignores that aspect of the third book and returns to the thriller genre. Although for the first time I seemed to be able to out-think Dexter (and the plot could have used further tuning), I felt overall that this latest novel was an improvement over the last, though not as strong as the first two outings. I am sure I will continue to read the books (less avidly), and follow the television series (more closely).

I listened to a good audiobook version on loan from Morrison-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana.

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