Monday, January 22, 2007

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Ah Dexter. I'd heard much about the Showtime series and it seemed to have just the kind of dark humor that appeals to me. Imagine a serial killer using his murderous urges for the good of mankind. It's a fascinating idea. Tisha had borrowed the book from another co-worker and then passed it along to me.

This is the first book in the series. It introduces Dexter who is a blood spatter expert working for the Miami PD. He also likes to kill people. I mean loves to. He experienced a horrible trauma as a toddler, which is only explained late in the book, and then taken in as a foster child by a cop and his family. As a teenager Dexter and his foster father go on a camping trip where the father explains that he knows Dexter is "different" but he believes he is a good person none the less and that he believes there may be a way to channel all that destructive energy. There we have the birth of a sociopath with a moral center.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. I didn't dislike it and I did like Dexter a great deal. The author does some interesting things so make the monster more human even while Dexter himself views himself as something alien outside of the human race. The premise attempts to make us believe that Dexter himself may be committing the crimes but is completely unaware of it. I found myself skimming through entire pages. The solution is fairly cliched but somewhat interesting and leaves certain thoughts of nature vs. nurture swirling around in one's head. Tisha says the second one is much better. I may have to try it.

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