Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrated by: Author Jeff Lindsay
Darkly Dreaming Dexter introduces Dexter Morgan serial killer of serial killers. To the outside world he is a charming, attractive normal guy with a respectable job with the forensic department. But Dexter (for anyone who hasn’t watched the tv show) is constantly battling his “dark passenger” who dreams of death and can only be assuaged by brutal murder and clinical dismemberment. He was adopted as a young boy by a policeman named Harry who saw Dexter’s darkness early on and was able to instill in him a strict code of rules to control his impulses and keep him safe. Now that Harry is dead, Dexter still hears Harry’s voice in his head and it almost always keeps him on track.
Without boring you with an overlong plot rehash I’ll keep it neat and tidy. There’s a serial killer on the loose who is chopping up women and leaving their bloodless body parts for Dexter and company to find. Dexter is intrigued by the killer’s mastery and finesse and makes it his business to track down the guy. But wait! This killer seems to know Dexter’s deepest, darkest secret and begins taunting him. The plot relies heavily on Dexter’s ability to sense the other killer and Dexter’s “dreams” of the murders. Whether you buy it or not will depend entirely on just how far you are willing to suspend your disbelief. I went with it. I’m easy sometimes and I really like Dexter.
I borrowed this audiobook from Overdrive and it was narrated by the author. While he does a decent job voicing Dexter’s calm, cool charm and wry sense of humor, he stumbles in a big way with Debra, Dexter’s put-upon stepsister who is desperately trying to get promoted and get off undercover “hooker duty” so she can do some actual police work. This Debra unpleasantly barks out every line with ear shattering impatience. As much as I enjoy her character because she is cranky and impatient, I cringed whenever she had something to say here. It wouldn’t have surprised me if she bit Dexter what with the way she was so overly snarly (she didn't). However, it’s not a guy reading a girl thing that I have a problem with here (for once) because Lindsay does LaGuerta’s voice in a smarmy, man-hungry and perfectly fitting way for the power hungry nitwit.
Though a story filled with murder and mayhem it surprisingly doesn't dwell on the gory details. Instead it gets into Dexter’s head, explaining how he feels when he gives in to his dark passenger (really freaking good). This is something the show is just unable to do and it helps one understand how his mind works. I enjoyed this story and this intimate look into Dexter’s head and will continue the series. My only nitpick was Dexter’s bad habit of repeating himself. Yeah, yeah so he’s unemotional, not human, follows a strict code and is always in control. I get it. I don’t need to be continually banged over the noggin with those facts. It got tiresome and I felt like the only one he was trying to convince was himself because he was so often NOT in control for most of this book. But other than that complaint, the characters are great and the story zips along at a pace that never loses or bores the crap out of me.