Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Dearly Devoted Dexter is the second book from Jeff Lindsay "staring" forensic blood splatter specialist and serial killer Dexter Morgan. Dexter is, by his own observation, not exactly a normal human being. He has a busy sideline in righteous serial killings - he kills people who undoubtedly have avoided retribution for crimes they have committed. Dexter and his darker side "The Dark Passenger" work very hard at their chosen craft and Dexter spends a large amount of time explaining himself, his motives and his methods in an internal voice, shared with the reader.

Dexter was adopted as a small child and his foster father, a cop himself, taught him all sorts of tricks whilst grooming him for his role of avenging angel. His sister, Deborah, was groomed for a role in the police force and it is her Dexter is having lunch with one day (she knows all about Dexter's extra-curricula activities) when they are called to a particularly gruesome crime scene. Dexter develops a sneaking sense of regard for a serial offender who has a line in gruesome that makes Dexter look like a bit of an amateur. Meanwhile Dexter is quietly executing his own plans for some retribution against a pair of child molesters. Unfortunately this plan is being seriously interfered with by local Police Sergeant Doakes who is absolutely convinced that Dexter is up to something and undertakes some pretty close surveillance.

Dexter's own crime scenes are elaborate and graphically described but that is absolutely nothing compared to the crimes that he finds himself having to investigate, firstly, by happy co-incidence with Doakes, which gets Doakes off his own back and away from his own activities. Secondly because his sister's own personal life is involved.

As in the first Dexter book (Darkly Dreaming Dexter) there is a heavy dose of black humour in DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER. Dexter is very self-deprecating, whilst simultaneously firmly convinced of the necessity of his actions. Nearly all of the insights into Dexter and how or why he does what he does are through Dexter's own internal musings. This provides an unusual insight into the mind of Dexter the serial killer but I could see how after a couple of books you could possibly be wishing that Dexter would just stop talking for just a few pages. Black humour, slightly on the heavy handed side with a very unusual central character, it will be interesting to see how long the Dexter series can continue.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Miami's best-dressed serial killer is back and on the prowl, at least he would be if he could shake off his permanent shadow. Ever since their paths first crossed, Sergeant Doakes hasn't let Dexter Morgan out of his sight. Dexter may well be the Miami PD's blood-spatter analyst, but Sgt. Doakes has a pretty good idea of how Dex likes to spend his free time and he's determined to catch him in the act.

Dex hasn't killed in months and is getting twitchy. To throw Doakes off his scent, he's spending more time with Rita, his girlfriend. But no matter how many cosy nights they spend in front of the TV, Doakes is still watching. 

Then a body turns up, horribly mutilated and barely alive. To trap the torturer, Doakes and Dexter will have to work together, if they can trust each other. It's a devil's pact and one of them will have to be the bait... 

Karen Chisholm
Monday, October 1, 2007

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