Saturday, September 28, 2013

Is it really the end for Dexter?

I have enjoyed reading suspense novels ever since I read my first mystery. I'm not sure if it is thrill of anticipation, or the suspenseful conclusion that makes my heart race. I also love when the bad guy "gets it in the end". Well, with Dexter Morgan, I had it all rolled into one. Now, I am not saying Dexter is my Knight in Shining Armor, he is more like the Dark Knight watching from around the corner. I found the character of Dexter immediatlely intriguing when I discovered Jeff Lindsay's first novel about the sociopathic vigilante, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. I read this wonderful book soon after it was released in 2004. The very next year I devoured Dearly Devoted Dexter. I was not at all surprised when in 2006 Showtime aired the first season of the series Dexter based on the first book. I have to admit, once I saw Michael C. Hall as Dexter I never veered from his image in my mind while reading. Even though I only watched the first four seasons, I was sitting on the edge of my seat every Sunday to see what injustice Dexter would try to rectify.

A few years ago I found Jeff Lindsay's Facebook page and Liked it, since I actually do love his writing and his characters. Last month Mr. Lindsay posted a link to Doubleday's fan giveaway. They were giving away 25 advanced copies of the newest (and supposedly final) book featuring Dexter, Dexter's Final Cut. I was THRILLED a few weeks after entering the contest to have a copy arrive at my front door. I know the book went on sale almost two weeks ago, so I am not posting any information die-hard fans don't already have access to, however I will not ruin anything for loyal readers or even new recruits.

Dexter's Final Cut
by Jeff Lindsay
Lindsay does not disappoint, well actually ~ he does ~ in the sense this is the FINAL book. I guess it could be considered unnatural to say I love Dexter, but as a character who takes care of those who have performed terrible acts of violence on innocents, he is like a modern day Robin Hood. I know it is a sin to kill, but he justifies his killings based on "Harry's Code" (his father's eye for an eye like theory). I will admit this book is not as graphic as the previous books (or if you have seen the series, not as bloody), but the storyline is suspenseful and hard to put down.

The introduction to the book took me by surprise and I was a bit concerned about Dexter. The first sentence, "It's not that bad being dead." almost caused me to close the book. I just couldn't face the fact that Dexter could be dead! Again, back to the creepy part about me really liking this person who in reality (or literary reality) is a serial killer. These are not the people you are supposed to be drawn to as a normal human, right?!? Thankfully I did not stop reading. I mean, how could Lindsay possibly kill off this iconic character in the first sentence? So, I kept reading.

Come to find out, Dexter and his sister, Deborah become involved in a new police drama which will be filming in Miami. Dexter is going to be shadowed by Robert Chase (a television heart throb - adored by Dexter's wife Rita) while Deborah will be shadowed by Jackie Forrest who will be starring in the drama as a character very much like Deborah - "a hard-as-nails woman detective" (pg. 13).  Being an active police detective and blood-splatter expert, Deborah and Dexter are quickly wrapped up in a murder investigation. This is where the blood and gore is introduced and the action begins.

I felt like I saw a new side to Dexter in this book. I know he has developed over the years from a bachelor, to a husband and instant step-father, but he seemed to show a little more depth and emotion (if you can actually call it that for a sociopath) in this "final cut". The title could be interpreted as a double entendre, which obviously was Lindsay's intent, but ironically Dexter doesn't actually do very much cutting in this book.

Like I said earlier, I did not watch the series after the infamous Trinity Killer, Arthur Mitchell ~ wonderfully portrayed by John Lithgow (who won a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy for his character). Since I was a fan of the books, I didn't want the show to take away my desire to read each new book that was released. I guess I was afraid I would be disappointed by the series because it couldn't live up to the movie I had created in my head.

I am not going to say our devilishly, divine Dexter is dead and gone. I am not going to say he is dwelling in Denmark, Dubai, or even one of the Dakotas. All I will say is Lindsay has provide a unique manner in which to create an entirely new series as a spin off. I would love to see how he would develop this daring design. I don't mean to deviate from my devotion to Dexter. Hmmm, I guess you could say I am a fan.

Now that I know the books and the series (which actually veered away from the books and were developed with their own storylines in the seasons following the first) have ended I might decide to go back and watch the four seasons I missed. I guess when you think about it, Dexter is Lindsay's character, and whether the words are written in a book or portrayed on the television by an awesome actor like Hall, I will always remember the thrill of learning about Dexter, especially through his own words, "I am a very neat monster." (Darkly Dreaming Dexter, 2004)

Thank you to Mr. Jeff Lindsay for posting the information about the online contest. Thank you also to Doubleday for sending me a complimentary advanced reader's copy of Dexter's Final Cut.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Doubleday for providing a complimentary electronic copy and paperback advanced reader's copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

1 comment:

Charlotte Garrett said...

I just finished the tv series on Netflix. I was very disappointed in the way it ended with Dexter. I expected more.