Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay Review

The third book in the Dexter series misses the mark

cover of Dexter in the Dark

I have already reviewed the first and second books in the Dexter series so check them out first.

Miami’s part angel part demon sociopath Dexter Morgan battles an evil more powerful than he can imagine in his third outing.

Miami homicide is flummoxed by the ritualistic murders of two young women. Their bodies have been decapitated, burnt, and neatly laid out with their heads being replaced with ceramic bulls’ heads.

Sgt. Deborah Morgan, Dexter’s sister, follows the forensic evidence and arrests professor Jerry Halpern. Yet while the professor languishes in jail the murders continue.

This case clearly calls for the specialised talents of my favourite forensic technician who moonlight in his own time as judge jury and executioner of Miami’s underworld.

Unlike his first two outings however Dexter is on the back foot. This time around the familiar dark spirit that spurs Dexter on in his bloody deeds has left, leaving Dexter all alone.

Dexter’s evil spirit has been driven from his body by other spirits, a scary feeling I’m sure. And of course it couldn’t have come at a worst time for Dexter who’d just begun to bond with his fiancé’s children, Aston and Cody, who seem to have the makings of apprentice serial killers themselves.

This struggle between Dexter and his new demons is a little dull and predictable, certainly in comparison to the first two books.

That beautifully sharp wit of Dexter is still very much present but having to face a future without his dark companion means that the third book is filled with introspection and contemplation, it’s not bad but it’s not great either.

Rating…

Rating: 5.5 out of 10.

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French book I Hate Men sees sales boom after government minister calls for ban

A French government official’s futile attempt to ban an essay entitled I Hate Men because of its “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender” have since  backfired and has sent sales of the feminist pamphlet into the stratosphere.

Pauline Harmange’s Moi les hommes, je les déteste is an essay that explores whether women “have good reason to hate men”, and whether “anger towards men is actually a joyful and emancipatory path, if it is allowed to be expressed”.

The small French publisher, Monstrograph, called it a “feminist and iconoclastic book” that “defends misandry as a way of making room for sisterhood”.

Ralph Zurmély is a special adviser to France’s ministry for gender equality and he called it an “ode to misandry”. Zurmély emailed Monstrograph and called the work “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender is a criminal offence”, and asked the publisher to pull the book from publication “on pain of criminal prosecution”.

The ministry subsequently distanced themselves from the remarks and said that the threat of prosecution was “a personal initiative and completely independent of the ministry”, yet Zurmély went on to say that if Monstrograph continued to sell the book, the publisher would be “directly complicit in the offence and I would then be obliged to send it to the prosecution for legal proceedings”.

Monstrograph stressed to French media that the book was not an incitement to hatred. “The title is provocative but the purpose measured. It is an invitation not to force oneself to associate with men or to deal with them. At no time does the author incite violence,” said its editor.

Harmange is a 25-year-old activist from Lille and said that the book is simply an invitation to women “to imagine a new way of being, to take less account of the often unsupported opinions of men, to consider the adage ‘it is better to be alone than in bad company’ seriously, and to rediscover the strength of female relationships full of reciprocity, gentleness and strength”.

She went on to criticise Zurmély’s response to her work. “A state official who has a power crisis facing an 80-page book released in 400 copies, I find that very problematic,” she said.

It is interesting to note that Monstrograph set out to initially set out to print just 400 copies when the essay was first published in August but after these attacks almost 2500 copies have sold and now a major publisher is set to take over the title.

Harmange wrote on her blog that her head was “spinning” at the response to her work. “As a gigantic snub to this man who wanted to ban my words, this book which should have been printed only at 500, maybe 700 copies max, has been ordered more than 2,000 times … We have withdrawn the book from sale, not because we are afraid but because we can no longer keep pace [with demand]. (And not forever, I promise),” she wrote. “In all of this, I admit, there is still a little voice that gives me hope that all of you who have bought my book – just as one gives a middle finger to a cop – will find it interesting in spite of everything.”

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay Review

This is our review of the second book in the Dexter series. Check out our review of Darkly Dreaming Dexter before continuing.

This second instalment of Jeff Lindsay’s hugely popular Dexter series sees the charming serial killer become a loving family man who must track down two mysterious murderers to satisfy his dark passenger.

Dearly Devoted Dexter sees the titular character hunt down Reiker, the accomplice of a paedophile serial killer whom Dexter has already disposed of. While at his job as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami-Dade police department he must help his detective sister Deb hunt down a torturer with ties to El Salvador. He must do this all while under the watchful eye of Sergeant Doakes, a colleague who senses something is amiss with our favourite serial killer.

You might like this review

Dexter is a self aware villain and examines himself and society as a whole with his usual dark charming wit. A large part of the enjoyment of this book relies upon Dexter’s likeability, if you don’t like dark humour or wise cracking narration then this probably isn’t the book or series for you.

While Dexter is charming he’s also undeniably a villain, a monster as he calls himself. Yet Lindsay balances out this monstrous side of Dexter with deep and complex relationships with his sister and with his step children Astor and Cody.

Overall Dearly Devoted Dexter is a pleasant murderous tale, the reader gets all the blood and dark humour they could wish for. If you like a serial killer romp and want something a little different this could be the series for you.

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