Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday Book Report: Dexter In The Dark

What is a synonym for the idiom 'in the dark'? That's right... 'clueless'

Remember a few blog posts ago I said that I wasn't only going to write book reports on book I enjoyed? Well, I am about to hold up that promise. Dexter In The Dark is the third book in Jeff Lindsay's series about a serial killer in Miami who redeems himself by offing other bad people. Some people may better recognize this character from the Showtime series Dexter (and Michael C. Hall is an inspired bit of casting in my opinion!)

Admittedly it has been a while since I had read the first two Dexter novels (there was a gap of over two years between books 2 and 3), but when I started reading this book, I started feeling rather clueless. Maybe my view of the storyline and characters has been tainted by my recent viewing of the television series - but I don't remember Rita being such a flighty twit or her kids being mini-psychos in the making!

I had a big problem with the children's storyline. No parent likes to think of children being future psychopaths or sociopaths. I feel that Lindsay is putting too much emphasis on the environmental impact of childhood on a person's development. Dexter is the way he is because saw his mother dismembered with a chainsaw and was left alone with her body for a few days when he was only three years old (Okay - I did mention that this is a series about a serial killer killing other serial killers!) Astor and Cody didn't have that level of horror inflicted upon them and yet here we have Dexter grooming them in similar ways that his adoptive father Harry has schooled him.

Another detraction from this story was the multiple points-of-view and the mystical shadow or being that Lindsay infers all killers have. Somehow I don't think this off-shoot of the storyline was thought through thoroughly - because if it were the case, Dexter should have been 'seeing' these long before now. And the ultimate let down... well, I won't get into what it is because I don't want to give away a large part of the story - but suffice to say, I can't believe Dexter would be such a wienie when things don't go his way.

For all of the this being a negative review, there were enjoyable moments in the book - chief among them was how Dexter and Rita's overbearing(and over-charging!) wedding caterer is dealt with. I think there is a good underlying story to this novel, but Lindsay somehow felt the need to pad and elaborate and in the end the cohesiveness of the story was lost.


Holly asked me how I find time to read, knit, work, etc. The truth is, reading is usually higher on my list of priorities than sleeping. I love my night reading light! For the most part I can read 'til the small hours of the morning and Andrew doesn't complain. Just shakes his head in dismay when he asks me the next morning at what time I put the book down...

Batty said she admired my time management skills. Sweetie, you are welcome to come over for tea or coffee any time. Just don't mind the fact that we have lived here for nine months now and I haven't finished unpacking. Priorities, people!