DEXTER BY DESIGN by Jeff Lindsay
Kirkus Star


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The Miami PD forensic tech who analyzes blood-spatter patterns of murder victims when he’s not dispatching them himself (Dexter in the Dark, 2007, etc.) comes up against an equally formidable foe.

Back from his honeymoon in Paris, Dexter Morgan is ready to settle into a new routine: racing to crime scenes, snuggling with his bride Rita and indoctrinating her children as apprentice sociopaths. For a newly married man, though, Dexter’s given little time to spend with his new family. Four corpses have turned up in disconcertingly rapid succession, each disfigured in wholesale ways only Dexter could appreciate. One torso, for example, is eviscerated and filled with fruit; another body cavity holds suntan lotion, sunglasses and a swimsuit magazine. Clearly, as Dexter realizes, the act of murder is subordinate to the ritual adornment of the corpses. But as he and his sister, Miami PD Sgt. Deborah Morgan, work their way down a list of the most likely suspects for such baroque misbehavior, the case blows up in their faces, sending Deborah to the hospital and dealing Dexter the first in a long series of setbacks. Even when Dexter, dispassionate as ever about Deborah but determined to get justice, thinks he’s neutralized her assailant, he’s still a step behind the killer. Only a masquerade as a Baptist minister and an encounter with a chilling piece of performance art will set the balance straight.

The best of Dexter’s four adventures to date, the trademark mixture of amusement and horror complemented by a genuinely suspenseful plot.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-51836-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2009

Kirkus Interview
Jeff Lindsay
author of DEXTER IS DEAD
July 14, 2015

Dexter Morgan, of Jeff Lindsay’s bestselling series of novels (and the inspiration for one of the most successful shows on TV), has burned the candle at both ends for many years. Blood spatter analyst…husband…father…serial killer. And now, for the first time, his world has truly collapsed. Dexter is arrested on charges of murder. He has lost everything—including his wife, his kids, and the loyalty of his sister. Now completely alone, Dexter faces a murder charge (for a crime…ironically…he did not actually commit). His only chance for freedom lies with his brother, who has a dark plan to prove Dexter's innocence. But the stakes are deadly and the epic showdown that lies in Dexter's path may lead, once and for all, to his demise. “Who could possibly want to eliminate such a charmingly monstrous killer as Dexter?” our reviewer wonders. We’ll ask Lindsay that question in this week’s Kirkus TV. View video >


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