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: 5.5 out of 10.

Dearly Devoted Dexter Review

You can find my review of the first book in the series, Darkly Dreaming Dexter here.

This second instalment in Jeff Lindsay’s hugely popular Dexter series see’s our horrible yet loveable serial killer become a family man, while still trying desperately to bring his own brand of justice to two mysterious murders.

Dearly Devoted Dexter see’s my favourite murderous blood spatter analyst search for Reiker, an accomplice of a paedophile Dexter’s already had his wicked way with. Not only only that, he must work with his detective sister Deb and federal agent Kyle Chutsky to investigate and find a torturer with ties to El Salvador. All while under the watchful gaze of Sergeant Doakes, a colleague who senses the darkness within Dexter.

Dexter is a wonderfully self aware character who examines his own lack of humanity with the reader with some very funny dark humour, he’s quite charming if truth be told, if you ignore the frequent murdering anyway.

And that’s the biggest selling point for this novel, the likeability of Dexter and his wise cracking narration is easily the best part, at least for me, if you don’t like that kind of thing I’d steer clear of this series.

Dexter likes to tell you he’s a monster, that his dark passenger is really his only personality trait, yet Lindsay writes him with a little more depth and complexity than that. This is shown most evidently in his bond with his sister and step children Astor and Cody.

Lindsay’s reliance on Dexter is however a weakness too. Because his primary protagonist is so compelling he becomes lazy when it comes to the plot. The story here is surface level at best, it’s not overly compelling and is certainly thin at points with Dexter’s snarky narration lending it the thin veneer of competency.

Overall this is a nice fun murderous tale, if you enjoy blood soaked pages interlaced with dark humour then you’ll be pleased here. It’s nothing ground-breaking but it’s still a nice twist on the usual serial killer novels you’ll read.


Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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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

Darkly Dreaming Dexter Review

Darkly Dreaming Dexter is one of the most unique and bizarre serial killer novels you will ever find. Our protagonist, can’t quite call him our hero, is a sociopathic murderer with a twist, he has a conscience, or at least a moral code. He will only kill the guilty, the people who have escaped justice.…

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.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter Review

Darkly Dreaming Dexter is one of the most unique and bizarre serial killer novels you will ever find.

Our protagonist, can’t quite call him our hero, is a sociopathic murderer with a twist, he has a conscience, or at least a moral code. He will only kill the guilty, the people who have escaped justice.

This is a greatly entertaining novel with a surprisingly charming character in Dexter.

By day Dexter is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police, a great place to find his next victims, and to keep an eye on the police investigations into his own sordid night time escapades. There’s never any real danger of that though, Dexter is always one step ahead.

However, that all changes when a copycat killer shows up on Dexter’s turf using his own method of killing against him. Dexter must know choose between helping catch the man to help his police-officer sister or getting the satisfaction of the kill for himself. Events spiral in this book and drag Dexter along with them, this is not how he usually likes to live his life.

Jeff Lindsay is a master at giving this old tired genre a new lease of life. His exploration of a charming and elegant serial killer going out to deal his own brand of justice is intriguing and I hope that in later instalments it is addressed and fleshed out more fully.

And while I like the character of Dexter his false charm grates thin and there is not enough wit within his narration for him to effectively carry the entire novel on his back. He also needs more redeemable features if I am to come back and read the rest of the novels, he’s good for a one trip outing but if I’m going to get invested then I need to not just like him as a character but as a person too.

The plot is basic but with a nice twist at the end that really makes the whole uninspiring journey worth it. I am looking forward to getting stuck into the next one and I hope it can improve upon a solid foundation.


Rating: 7 out of 10.

You can grab yourself a copy of Dexter’s first outing on Amazon.