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Fatherly affection, empathy, guilt—could everyone’s favorite law-enforcement sociopath (Dexter by Design, 2009, etc.) be turning soft?

As he gawps at his newborn daughter Lily Anne, Dexter Morgan feels a rush of unfamiliar feelings and familiarly satirical thoughts about how sappy this all is—that is before he’s snatched away from the hospital by a hurry call from Sgt. Deborah Morgan, his adopted sister. Ransom Everglades student Samantha Aldovar has disappeared, leaving behind only an enormous blood spatter that Dexter soon establishes isn’t even her type. While Dexter and Debs sweat to figure out whether the crime scene points to kidnapping or murder, other complications sprout up. The Miami-Dade PD can’t ask Tyler Spanos, Samantha’s best bud, about her whereabouts because she’s gone missing too. In fact, as a grisly discovery in the Everglades soon confirms, Tyler’s been killed and eaten at a hideous private barbecue—presumably by the self-styled Vlad, né Robert Acosta, the spoiled son of untouchable county commissioner Joe Acosta, and the rest of the cannibal crew who assemble at that exclusive South Beach club, Fang. What can Dexter do to make Miami safe once more for normal killers like himself? And, saddled as he now is with a sense that he’s “Dexter 2.0,” made over by a sincere desire to stay on the straight and narrow, will he have the gumption to do it?

Have no fear: All those tender feelings don’t keep Dexter from breaking into a walk-in refrigerator, attacking a pirate ship and preventing Debs from turning into a late-night snack. Ghoulish fun for like-minded souls.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-53235-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2010

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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