Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Unlike its predecessor, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter wasn't adapted for the small screen. The Showtime series, instead, creates something original for our dark defender. However, aspects of the book were borrowed for the series, such as - spoiler alert - the removal of Doakes from Dexter's life and the engagement to Rita. 

After the death of LaGuerta in Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dexter finds himself in a different role - the hunted rather than the hunter. Dead on his trails is Sergeant Doakes, whose suspicion of our Dark Defender is now ten-fold. Having to give up his dark duties, Dexter assumes the role of doting boyfriend as he puts on a show for Doakes' amusement. All the while, he bides his time for the moment Doakes is out of his life so he can resume his work on the second half of a murderous pedophile duo.

Opportunity knocks when Dr. Danco comes to town - a madman seeking revenge for a betrayal that happened years ago in El Salvador. Along with a love interest for Deborah by the name of Kyle Chutsky - who served on Special Forces with Doakes and Dr. Danco - Dexter is pushed into working with the very man who'd rather see him dead or behind bars. How can Dexter play Doakes into becoming Dr. Danco's  next victim?

It's obvious the show's writers created Frank Lundy to play the Chutsky role in Debra's life for the series, but the two are different. Lundy is focused and determined - not to say Chutsky isn't - but he was more likable and agreeable with Debra's personality (where Deborah's personality clashed with Chutsky's). But we're not going to talk about the show anymore.

While the pace from the first novel seemed quick, with little time to enjoy what was going on, the second book seemed better paced, despite being of similar length. It seemed Jeff Lindsay learned how to create more developed secondary characters rather than the two-dimensional ones featured in the first book. Not to mention the dialogue improved, as well. Though, if the third book starts off with Dexter hunting a child-murderer, I'm going to assume that his creativity on the first kills is limited.

The only disagreeable aspect featured in both novels so far is Dexter's inability to kill the main bad guy. In Darkly Dreaming Dexter, he let's his murderous brother get away; in Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dr. Danco - spoiler alert! - is gun down by Deborah. Once again, I think the series has spoiled my ability to allow Dexter to do these things. But isn't that, essentially, who he is? The guy who takes out the bad guys?

Will you be seeing me posting a review for the third novel in the series, Dexter in the Dark, soon? You bet your sweet ass you will. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

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