Dexter by Design
Dexter by Design, written by Jeff Lindsay, is the forth book in the Dexter franchise, and the follow up to the 'shark jumping' third entry, Dexter in the Dark.
Dexter by Design opens with Dexter and Rita on their honeymoon in Paris. Nothing really important happens. Dexter and Rita return home. A couple of bodies turn up on a beach. Dexter is intrigued and begins his own investigation. Soon his sister Deborah, a Miami PD Officer, is also on the case. When Deborah is stabbed by a suspect and almost killed, and Dexter's new happy family is threatened, Dexter goes into protector mode, to track down the killer and deliver his own little slice of justice.
Dexter by Design was really just that, Dexter by numbers. Where as the first two novels difficult to put down, I have to say with Dexter by Design I had more trouble picking it up that putting it down.While the TV series continues to maintain the edge that drew me in to the character initially, the books seem to have grown a little tired.
It's hard to talk about Dexter by Design without acknowledging it's predecessor, "Dexter in the Dark". My problem with Dexter in the Dark was that Lindsay attempted to explain why Dexter is what he is, and the explanation was way out of left field. You see, in the third book, Lindsay introduced 'super natural' elements to explain Dexter's nature.There was a lot of talk about demons, a cult and the suggestion that Dexter was being controlled by a demon. My problem with Dexter by Design is that it carries on as if the events of the third book never happened. It's like the third book was "all just a dream". Maybe this is Lindsay's way of saying that the third book was a mistake? Maybe it was just a dream? I don't know, either way, not addressing it at all seemed a little dodgy.
Maybe it was just me, but I found that Dexter by Design was missing a little of the twisted humor that popped up in the first two novels. One of the strengths of the first two books was discovering how Dexter observed the world around him and I found that to be missing a little in Dexter by Design.
Dexter by Design is definitely not a 'must read'. If you're a hardcore Dexter fan, you'll probably want to give it a look. If you're just a lover of good books however, stick to the first two Dexter novels and give this a miss.