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Chris High books reviewed

Dexter In The Dark

Jeff Lindsay

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Orion
ISBN-10: 075288509X
ISBN-13: 978-0752885094
3 October, 2007

Image: Front cover of the book 'Dexter In The Dark'.


Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter Morgan, blood spatter expert (I have it on sound authority its “spatter” in the US and “splatter” in the UK, by the way) with the Miami Police Department and serial killer, is something of a conundrum. Should serial killers – whatever their motives – be portrayed as likeable, not to say loveable, characters and should their quirky foibles be so attractive to TV viewers and book readers?


Well, yes is the answer because what happens then is that we are given a premise so preposterous it actually works on many levels, as can be seen with the third instalment, Dexter In The Dark, which throws fresh light onto why Dexter is what he is.

Is evil alive? Dr Jerry Halpern is trying to find out, studying for his PhD on the subject. Dexter Morgan, meanwhile, has a few wicked things of his own to contend with - not least, planning his wedding to Rita to complete his nice-guy disguise.

But when a student of Halpern's is found burnt, molested and headless - seemingly sacrificed to an ancient god - and Dex is brought in as forensic analyst to help investigate, he realises he could be dealing with someone a whole lot more sinister than he is. Soon it seems the dark passenger in Dexter's head has gone into hiding. And when something creeps out your friendly neighbourhood serial killer, you know it's serious.
The thing to remember with Dexter Morgan is that – to put it scientifically – he’s of his chump, as mad as a box of frogs and as nutty as a bag of KP Cashews. So, when sacrifice to the gods rears its head, Dexter latches on to it as though it is a lifeline – reason for his being – which he just as easily demotes to the level of mumbo-jumbo he feels it deserves as the story evolves and all of which is done with great style and humour.

Jeff Lindsay has created a barrel full of monkeys with Dex, Debs, Cody, Astor, Rita and Doakes that cannot fail to entertain, even at their darkest moments, which is all of great credit to a young author who may lack subtlety at times, but who nonetheless knows how to tell a bloody good story, bloodily and well.

Interview with author Jeff Lindsay by Chris High - November 2007

Order this book online - Linghams Booksellers



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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