For those who are not familiar with the novels or the hit television show based off of the characters, Dexter Morgan seems like a normal guy. He has a solid job working as a blood splatter analyst at the Miami Police Department. He has a wife, Rita, a new born baby girl, two step kids, and a sister, Deborah, who is his only living blood relative and who happens to be a detective at the Miami P.D. While Dexter seems like the perfect example of a suburban father, he harbors a dark secret. Dexter is a serial killer. He feeds this habit by only killing those who "deserve their punishment."
The novel opens as Dexter is "punishing" a pedophile in a vacant home. Everything seems to be going as planned until he hears someone enter the home. He rushes to make sure he isn't seen, but he is too late. He sees the person leaving, shadowed by the night, and is left to worry that he has been seen. On top of this, someone is killing cops in Miami. Dexter is summoned by his sister to assist in the gruesome murder investigation, which adds to his stress of family life and trying to discover the person who witnessed his crime. When that person beats him to the punch, contacting Dexter through a blog and threatening to expose his secrets, Dexter becomes engulfed in a race to put a stop to this unknown witness before his entire facade of a life comes crashing down.
The Dexter series has certainly gotten better with age. Jeff Lindsay writes with an assured voice that has grown into a unique style that can only be related to this series. The introspective narratives by the main character perfectly capture the twisted, sometimes sarcastic qualities of Dexter. I particularly appreciate the way Lindsay keeps the novels in their own world. This allows the universe of the novels and the television show to coexist without one seemingly copying the other. While this is by no means a "great" work of fiction, it is certainly an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. Six novels into the series and six seasons into the show, I am definitely hooked!