Review: Dexter Is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Monday, 3 August 2015
Title: Dexter Is Dead
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 30th July 2015
Pages: 306
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Dexter has finally been caught and brought to justice - for three murders he didn't commit. Proving his innocence is made quite difficult by the fact that the true killer, Robert Chase, is one of the 'victims' he's accused of murdering.

To make matters worse, Dexter's once loyal sister Deborah disowns him and adamantly refuses to help with his investigation. Furious but undeterred, Dexter connects Chase to a resort with a dark underbelly. When the resort becomes aware of his discoveries, children of the police force begin disappearing. Deborah is made lead investigating officer and still refuses to return to Dexter.

However, when the kidnappers take both Dexter's and her own children, she has no option but to beg for his help. Dexter triumphantly agrees, and the hunt begins...

After the absolutely abysmal ending to the Dexter TV series I was pinning all my hopes on this final book, Dexter Is Dead giving me that closure and resolution that everyone's favourite serial killer deserved. I know the two series have always ran separately but character-wise there's always been a number of similarities between the characters. In Dexter Is Dead Dexter has found himself in a bit of a pickle. He has been arrested and is currently behind bars for multiple murders, one of whom just so happens to be his wife, Rita. The reader knows that Dexter is innocent (this time!) but with corrupt police officers determined to send him down and even his sister Deborah disowning him, he has nobody to turn to and is about to accept his fate when an unlikely saviour steps in to save the day. His fellow sociopath brother, Brian.

It's such a lazy description but Jeff Lindsay's books are always so readable. I think it's because despite their differences, I have always pictured Michael C. Hall when reading this series, and always imagine his voice narrating the book. I think Dexter replaced JD from Scrubs as the person I wished narrated the thoughts in my own head, quite alarming I know. Dexter for all his faults(!) is actually a likeable character, and this time around you want him to leave prison and not be sent down for the murders he didn't actually commit. Once again Jeff Lindsay opens up so many questions as to the full nature of 'Dexter' as a person and a phenomena, just what can he feel. Just how many of his thoughts are actually real. Especially this time around when he feels something akin to pain when Deb pretty much disowns him when she visits him in prison. Dexter shouldn't have it in him to experience these feelings, yet throughout the series he has shown various signs that aren't reflective of a sociopath.

What has always been great about Dexter is how clever he is; his ability to think a few steps ahead. He seemed to completely lose that in this story making some quite rookie mistakes. The first being how trusting he was of Brian and the way he didn't really think about why his brother was so quick to help him, and the reader is also left wondering just what Brian is keeping from Dexter, and what his plan is overall. I have to admit even I didn't see it coming, and it made for some pretty exciting developments as the story progressed. Dexter's relationship with Brian was of course cut short far too soon in the TV series but in book form he is very much alive and well and the scenes between the brothers were some of my favourite in the book. There's real tension when the two are on the page together, and it's a believable 'relationship' that they have.

This series could so easily have been dragged out further and further but it does have a strong finale and it is one that I think I can accept more than the TV series. Both the TV and book series have had their hits and misses, definitely more hits and Dexter Is Dead ends things on a high but at the same time in a way that I think will divide fans just as much as the TV series did. And I'm saying no more than that. Except that I'm really going to miss the character of Dexter!

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