Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oh, dear heaven. Dexter, you really *aren't* human, are you?
Our favorite vigilante serial killer is back, and this time, he's got a shadow. I'm not talking about a Peter Pan philosophical device; I'm talking about a stalker. The book opens with Dexter at play; he abducts and lets his knives and inner darkness work over a really foul human being. As usual, Jeff Lindsay is at his lyrical-prose best in this passage. He seems so comfortable in the nocturnal menace, in the Savage Garden of Dexter's homicidal dream that I sometimes wonder what the man does when he isn't writing these delicious and poisonous things. At any rate, we get to enjoy these delightfully awful things through Dexter's mind, because Jeff uses a brilliant literary device: we're plunged into a sort of second-person present tense scenario, a trick that immediately immerses you in the action.
And then, we're caught.
Dexter's playdate had been observed, and the person who saw everything immediately develops an unhealthy fascination with both Dexter and his world.
I have to start out by explaining why I've only given this four stars. I'm not going to spoil anything, but those of you who know and love Dexter know that he knows his way around the internet. So then, why would Lindsay rely so much on the plot device that someone can threaten and intimidate Dexter through a secret e-mail address? This is Forensics 101: it is almost impossible to have a completely secret e-mail address. Everything can be traced forensically. Even if there was a way to do it, Lindsay should have at least *briefly* explained it. Instead, he plowed ahead with this flimsy premise. It seemed a bit disappointing.
But there was far more to enjoy in this outing than not. Instead of the weird cannibalistic fetish of the last one, we are treated to a Doubting Dexter, a monster who has ALMOST been domesticated. His missteps are due to his connubial distractions. He has allowed himself to become a bit clumsy and slow, fattened up on his wife's good food and the charms of his little family. He's still -- *ahem* -- "sharp" when it comes to his prey, but his reflexes are gunked up when it comes to someone else being the predator. That made for a great foundation for the plot, and had him questioning himself and his commitment to his dark nature. I like it when that happens. A lot.
I'm also going to say that Jeff Lindsay is a fantastic audiobook narrator. I think that authors should self-narrate their audiobooks as often as possible, anyway. :)
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