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DEXTER BY DESIGN by Jeff Lindsay Kirkus Star


by Jeff Lindsay

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-51836-9
Publisher: Doubleday

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.