Pros: Who doesn't want to see the bad guys get it?
Cons: Abrupt shift in ending left a few odd questions unanswered.
The Bottom Line: Proof that karma isn't a b*tch - it's a killer
I’d been meaning to pick this one up for quite some time. I’d seen a few episodes of the show and knew it was based off Jeff Lindsey’s novels. And the books are always better, right? And what’s not to like about a guy who offs sickos and murderers?
As we open, Dexter has already been doing this for quite some time. He has a semi-moral code: only kill the bad guys. He sticks to it and he’s good at what he does. It helps that he works with the police department – gives him a lead on potential victims. Except there’s a new guy in town and it’s almost like he could be Dexter’s clone. In fact, he’s so good at what he does Dexter is in awe of his work. But of course Dexter shouldn’t be looking to make friends, he’s supposed to be helping his sister the cop find this guy, right?
It’s interesting because it’s hard not to like Dexter yet at the same time it’s obvious he’s so far outside the “norm” of human behavior and thought processes that at some points you start thinking, “Whoa. Not cool.” Remember, this book is written from Dexter’s point of view, so you get some rather special insights into what is going on in his mind. It’s interesting to see how Dexter ended up the way he is, although you don’t get the full picture until the very end of the story. Still, it’s amazing what the right influences can do. There’s an interesting, albeit creepy cat-and-mouse game going on between him and the killer and you’ll never know what exactly is going on until the end. It is possible to guess although you may be like me and dismiss the thought when it comes into your head with a, “That’s silly.” Apparently it’s not and you’ll quickly learn why. Some may argue that the end reveal is a bit cliché, but I think Lindsay pulls it off well enough that even if it does at first, it doesn’t stay that way.
My only issues were Dexter’s sister Deborah and the way the end was handled. Deb seems as though she’s supposed to come off as this hardcore cop when to me she actually looks rather stupid in many cases. At others when she speaks up in front of superiors, rather than looking confident and acting like she does the rest of the time, she’s meek and stumbles over what she’s wants to say. Are you a tough cop or aren’t you? Please pick a side and be consistent.
The other thing was the very abrupt shift in the end. I know what Lindsey was trying to do, but I ended up with a lot of questions that didn’t get answered – some of which were rather important. From the fate of the bad guy (er, so to speak), to what Deb’s reaction was to what went down (seems rather important to me), there’s no addressing of these things. Maybe they get addressed in the second book though, so I’m willing to let that slide for now.
The question now is, will I read the second book? Perhaps in the future, but I admit – as much as I enjoy seeing Dexter wipe icky people off the map, he’s going to face some equally icky people that the police force will have to catch. And honestly, I can only read so many books about creepers killing women (because let’s face it, we women are always the targets of these sickos), you know?