Dexter in the Dark (Review)

April 25, 2011

Book cover for "Dexter in the Dark" by Jeff Lindsay.Title: Dexter in the Dark

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Narrator: Nick Landrum

Publication Year: 2008

Pages: 320 (audio length: 12 hours 36 minutes)

Genre: Fiction

Source: Audiobook purchased from Audible.com

From the cover:

In his work as a Miami crime scene investigator, Dexter Morgan is accustomed to seeing evil deeds. . . particularly because, on occasion, he commits them himself. But Dexter’s happy existence is turned upside down when he is called to an unusually disturbing crime scene at the university campus. Dexter’s Dark Passenger – mastermind of his homicidal prowess – immediately senses something chillingly recognizable and goes into hiding. Dexter is alone for the first time in his life, and he realizes he’s being hunted by a truly sinister adversary. Meanwhile he’s planning a wedding and trying to learn how to be a stepfather to his fiancé’s two kids – who might just have dark tendencies themselves. Macabre, ironic, and wonderfully entertaining, Dexter in the Dark goes deeper into the psyche of one of the freshest protagonists in recent fiction.

(This is the third book in the Dexter series, after Darkly Dreaming Dexter and Dearly Devoted Dexter.)

In many ways, this was my least favourite of the series so far. It just didn’t have the same feel and pizazz as Dearly Devoted Dexter, and I found myself slogging through it at many points.

I think a large part of why I didn’t like this book as much was that there was too much “hooey” going on. It was the only book so far in the series that seemed to have some kind of a supernatural element to it – where the origins of the “dark passenger” were being explored. I think that I expected there to be some kind of psychological explanation for the passenger, or that it would just be left well enough alone. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case … and I really wasn’t impressed with the explanation that comes about in the end. It just didn’t seem to fit into Dexter’s world.

There were some other points that made Dexter in the Dark readable, though. Primarily, this was in the area of the children. I really enjoyed that Astor and Cody were more fleshed out in this book, and that kept me interested enough to keep going.

All in all, not the best Dexter book, but passable overall. I’d say to skip it in favour of the next one, but unfortunately, there are plot points that come up in Dexter in the Dark that are essential to understanding Dexter by Design, which comes right afterwards. Maybe you’ll like it more than I did, too – since it was primarily one facet of the story that turned me off, it’s entirely possible that you won’t feel the same way. Let me know if you’ve had a different experience with the book!

Rating:

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