Dexter's Final Cut
by Jeff Lindsey
4 stars - not the best Dexter book, but pretty darn good
ALR Blue - no actual scenes of animal suffering, but there are a couple of cats' heads on stakes
For those of you who might have watched the Dexter television series, but not read the books, I'm telling you there is a world of difference. Sure, the first two seasons were pretty good, but after that, the series veered way off track and substituted foolishness for some of the most delightful developments in the novels.
Book #7 of the Dexter series finds our hero merrily co-habitating with his wife, her two children, and Dexter and Rita's infant daughter. One place the TV show opted not to go was the notion that Rita's kids, Astor and Cody, also have Dark Passengers that Dexter feels somewhat obligated to steer along the Harry Code.
Are you lost? Seriously? In brief, Dexter Morgan is a serial killer. His Dark Passenger is the part of him that delights in killing. Thanks to his dad, Harry, who recognized Dexter's proclivities early on, Dexter has been instilled with a code which leads him to limit his activities to people who do really icky things but are not apprehended by the police.
For me, it isn't the story as much as the writing that has compelled me to read every book in the series. For this book, Miami PD blood spatter expert, Dexter, and his sister, Sergeant Deborah Morgan, have been assigned as minders and prototypes for two movie stars in town to film a series about, you guessed it, a forensics expert and a cop. In the prelude, Dexter lies upon the ground, a blood soaked corpse, contemplating the peccadilloes of being dead in Miami.
But after all, there was no alternative. I just had to make the best of it, and lie here like a lox until I was discovered - which seemed to me to be a long-overdue event. I had been sprawled here in the direct sunlight for at least half an hour. Can a corpse get a sunburn? I was certain dead people avoided tanning booths - even in zombie movies - but here in the midday sun, was it possible for dead skin to tan? It didn't seem right; we all like to think of cadavers as pale and ghostly, and a healthy sun-kissed epidermis would certainly spoil the effect.
Ah, Dexter, always analyzing the situation. Good man.
As usual, people get killed, Deborah displays an extraordinary talent for being tense and delightfully foul-mouthed, Dexter struggles with appearing human, and "who done it" abounds.