Dexter by Design

With every Dexter book I read, I am less and less convinced that he’s anywhere near as smart as he thinks he is. I haven’t decided how I feel about that, I think because television Dexter is so much more on the ball. He’s not hyper-effective, but he doesn’t strike me as ever more inaccurately-pompous in each succeeding season either. See, and this is no good, because it’s starting to sound like (as of Dexter by Design) I actually dislike the character now, and that’s not it. It’s just that I am snickering at him, and I cannot imagine snickering at the TV character. Or maybe it’s that it’s harder to be okay with his plan to thin the world’s population of murderers if I become less and less sure that he actually knows what he’s doing. On the bright side, he’s at least still likable in his blunders and pratfalls, at least for now.

In this particular book, the Dark Passenger’s supernatural origins take the back seat, just as I had hoped, in favor of a more prosaic killer who is nevertheless quite artful in his arrangement of the bodies he is leaving scattered across Miami. None of which would seem out of place for the two-thirds of a TV episode devoted to the killer of the week instead of a season-long plot, except that this particular killer has a bone to pick with Dexter, and he has far more than enough information to pick that, uh, bone[1] quite masterfully indeed. As if that weren’t enough, Deborah is in danger and the cops are closing in. Hooray for a light summer’s thriller! (And yeah, I’m nearly positive that reading the book during last week’s camping trip made it better than it would have otherwise been. Setting matters, y’all.)

[1] It turns out that metaphor only works in the passive voice. Who knew?

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