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Dearly Devoted Dexter Paperback – September 19, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 342 customer reviews
Book 2 of 8 in the Dexter Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dexter the Demon, Dexter the Avenger—whatever he chooses to call himself, the hero of this intelligent, darkly humorous series knows he's a monster who loves slicing people into little pieces. That Dexter limits his killing to "acceptable" victims—usually other serial killers—is designed to keep the reader from having to worry too much about the morality of his avocation. Dexter's just added his 40th victim, a homicidal pedophile, and is eagerly looking ahead to number 41 when he becomes involved in a case through his job as a blood spatter analyst at the Miami-Dade police forensics lab. A man is found with "everything on [his] body cut off, absolutely everything"—a piece of work that makes Dexter's own tidy killings look like child's play. This madman, nicknamed Danco, spends weeks surgically removing his victims' ears, lips, nose, arms, legs, etc., while keeping them alive to watch their own mutilation. Despite a certain professional admiration for Danco's dexterity, Dexter decides to take on the case. It's the contradictions in Dexter's character that make it all work—he's smart, he's funny, he cares for children, and yet he has no normal human responses or emotions. The first book in the series, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, was very well received; this one should be as well, and deservedly so. (July 19)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Dexter, your friendly neighborhood serial killer, is a police department blood-spatter expert who, in his spare time, kills people. Not just anyone, you understand--he only kills other killers, people whom he believes deserve it. Is this because Dexter really has a heart of gold? No, he's a monster (he is the first to admit it), but at least he tries to steer his evil into productive channels. In the second of Lindsay's alliteratively titled thrillers (following last year's Darkly Dreaming Dexter), Dexter's nemesis, Sergeant Doakes, is getting a little too close for comfort, and there is also the matter of a psychopath on the loose. When Dexter's two problems eventually link up . . . well, what's a well-meaning homicidal maniac to do? Dexter, the cheerfully sociopathic crime fighter, is one of mystery fiction's most original, compelling, and oddly endearing heroes. Lindsay digs a little deeper under Dexter's surface this time, showing us a little more about what makes him tick, but readers shouldn't worry. There are volumes still to be written about this gruesomely fascinating character. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dexter
  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400095921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400095926
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Jeff Lindsay's Dexter is serial-killer-slash-detective, a tortured soul who works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police department. Dexter has trained himself only to kill other serial killers, which gives Dexter a veneer of creepy heroism. In "Dearly Devoted Dexter," Dexter is on the hunt for a villain once betrayed by fellow members of a former Special Forces team, a criminal who actually leaves his victims alive (but, yikes, limbless lipless earless noseless), after kidnapping them and carving them up bit by bit.

Lindsay's Dexter narrates his own story; in combination with Dexter's easy-going friendly manner and his strangely "good-guy" motivations (catch the villain), this leads the reader to be on Dexter's side, to see things through his eyes, so to speak.

So occasionally while reading this book I would suddenly realize I was rooting for someone who would give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money, and a cold shiver would run down my spine. Very sneaky, Mr. Lindsay! If you like getting creeped out, in true horror-movie fashion, this will definitely suit you. On the other hand, if you couldn't bear "Silence of the Lambs," you'd best run away from Dexter before he gets inside your head....brrrrr....
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Format: Hardcover
Dexter leads a double life as both a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department and a serial killer who discretely dispatches only other demonic evildoers. He's back from his first story, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter," for more dastardly dealings. This time, he finds himself under suspicion by Police Sergeant Doakes. Dexter can't help feeling that Doakes is as much a monster as he is, and that monsters recognize their own kind. When Doakes begins a constant surveillance that prevents Dexter from heeding the call of his Dark Passenger, he spends an uncomfortable amount of time with his girlfriend Rita and her two kids in an effort to appear domestic. To his chagrin, he is becoming a bit too normal for his own liking. Luckily, he is conscripted by his police detective sister to help investigate a new rash of grotesque serial killings that give even a monster like Dexter pause. When the killer absconds with Doakes, Dexter feels an obligation to help his sister track down the killer, even if, by saving Doakes, he will be forced to remain trapped in a life of normalcy.

I wondered if author Jeff Lindsay would be able to pull off another novel about the endearingly inhuman Dexter without reverting to telling the same story twice. He did an admirable job doing just that. As in his first story, Lindsay combines humor along with Dexter's dispassionate acknowledgment as an unfeeling monster. But this time, he provides several fresh new facets to Dexter's personality: first his new role as a reluctant domesticated man, and second his innate understanding of, and gentleness with, children. This short book is a quick and entertaining read. I recommend it for its innovative depiction of a murderous psychopath that a reader can actually like and root for.

Eileen Rieback
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Format: Paperback
Dexter Morgan is a serial killer confounded by compunction distilled in his delicate youth by a devoted foster father who saw him for what he was and sought to protect him from the probing police. The Code of Harry is the creed that commits Dexter to allow his Dark Passenger to dissect and dismember only the deserving - pedophiles, murderers - before leading them slowly into death.

Okay...enough of my feeble attempt at replicating Jeff Lindsay's lively alliterative style. But if you found the above paragraph remotely entertaining, you're sure to find Lindsay's skilled pen far more enjoyable. His "positively prancing prose", as I referred to it in my reviews of Darkly Dreaming Dexter, makes the book a joy to read. Even more fascinating is that we're in Dexter's head the entire time, as Dexter himself is the narrator.

For an emotionless killer, Dexter has a great sense of humor and his cold detachment from everyday life makes his insights into the human psyche even more amusing and telling. For example, "I have always felt that it was preferable to think with my brain, rather than with certain other wrinkled parts located slightly south. I mean, seriously, don't people ever *see* themselves, staggering around drooling and mooning, all weepy-eyed and weak-kneed and rendered completely idiotic over something even animals have enough to sense to finish quickly so that they can get on with more sensible pursuits, like finding fresh meat?"

In "Dearly Devoted Dexter", Sergeant Doakes, who Dexter believes has seen the emptiness inside of him, follows Dexter everywhere and "sits on him". Frustrated in his pursuit of a pedophile to feed his Dark Passenger, Dexter tries to live out a more normal existence, which is part of the Code of Harry - blend in.
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Format: Paperback
Things are looking up for Dexter Morgan, blood-splatter analyst and secret serial killer. Thanks to the events of the first novel, his sister Deb is a detective in homicide. His pseudo-girlfriend continues to be just what he needs to keep his cover as a normal person. And he's stumbled on to a child murderer that desperately needs the kind of attention that only Dexter can provide. The one dark spot is Sgt. Doakes, a homicide detective who "knows" Dexter for what he is, even he can't prove it.

But that changes one morning when the victim of unspeakable torture is discovered, his limbs, tongue, genitals and eyelids systematically removed, but left alive. Dexter and Deb are recruited into an investigation by the federal government to hunt the culprit, known only as "Dr. Danco", a man who once worked for the government during one of its sordid wars in Latin America; a man who has perfected his method for torturing people for decades. And one of his targets is Doakes. But why should Dexter care?

It's the rare sequel that is an improvement over its progenitor. Jeff Lindsay's "Dearly Devoted Dexter" is such a sequel. Dexter is a little more polished as a character, a little more likeable and consistent. While he still remains distant from his sister and his girlfriend, all while putting the airs of a devoted loved one, his relationship with his girlfriend's children is more concrete, suggesting true warmth and sincerity on Dexter's part. The possibility that Dexter might actually more to offer than his ability to know and kill other creatures like him defines the character as something more than simply a literary curiosity.
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