Book Reviews

Dexter in the Dark * Jeff Lindsay Book Review

I’ve listened to Jeff Lindsay * Darkly Dreaming Dexter Book 1 and Dearly Devoted Dexter * Book 2 * Jeff Lindsay and I must say I enjoyed the third book in the installment.
The blood splatter analyst is about to get married and his dark passenger is no longer an entity that’s part of Dexter. It becomes a fluttery angel from times immemorial, with its own history and its own monsters.
In this book Dexter, who is usually so sure of himself, suddenly loses something very close to him. It throws him off. He has no fallback. He is in the Dark! See what I’ve done here?

“What a frail thing a human being is—and without the Passenger, that is all I was, a poor imitation of a human being. Weak, soft, slow and stupid, unseeing, unhearing and unaware, helpless, hopeless, and harried.”

Everything changes when Dexter is called to a gruesome double homicide. Dex realizes he’s dealing with someone a whole lot more sinister than he is and it sends the Dark Passenger into hiding. And when something scares your friendly neighborhood serial killer, you know it’s serious…

More used to inspiring fear then experiencing it, Dex must investigate, while simultaneously coping with his demanding family. If he’s to save himself, and those around him, Dexter must pose questions he’s never dared ask – where does evil come from, and does it hide inside everyone…?

He starts the research and while his questions keep bringing him to King Solomon in the Bible – who slayed his brother for a dark passenger of his own, he must ask himself, does the thing he harbours make him kill or is HE the one that kills? Let the drums beat on as an ancient ritual of sacrifice to the Bull is uncovered.

So what happens? Rita becomes a burden to Dexter (financially too as she keeps on talking about trips to Paris and a cook with $500/per plate does not seem like a lot to her.

“For my part, my interest in Paris had faded away completely long ago when I learned that it was in France.”


“No, it’s not fair,” I said. “Nothing in life is fair. Fair is a dirty word and I’ll thank you not to use that language around me.”

Cody and Astor are turning into little serial killers in their own right, silencing the neighbour’s dog. They look up to Dexter as they recognize him for what he is: a cold-blooded serial killer – and they want training.

“Have you ever been to this museum?” “No,” she said, drawing the word out into three contemptuous syllables as only a ten-year-old girl can.”

A trip to the museum turns educational when they discuss the advantages of Piranhas blending in with normal, placid fish until it’s time to feed. They scared me a lot! That did not happen to Dexter though, as he is falling into his paternal role quite well.

I closed my eyes and listened to the novel emotions gurgling through me. Feeling–what authentic human fun. Next, I could join a bowling league.

Dexter starts having dreams too! Even though he said he doesn’t dream, he starts talking in his sleep, walking around and having vivid nightmares of people sacrificed to the Bull God.

Debra is cute and on the go – taking care of her severly disabled boyfriend (after his encounter with a chop-happy serial killer in book 2. Doakes is back and prowling the station. There is no more LaGuardia.

The other character that was quite entertaining to watch was the best man for the wedding – Vince Masuka – who has a plastic smile and an even more plastic laugh. He’s the one that introduces Dexter to the overly priced caterer.


The Dark Passenger is real.
Dexter’s “Dark Passenger” is actually a supernatural possession by some kind of child of Moloch an eternal something-or-other, lacks so much believability that it ruins the entire series. I already had troubles with the ‘all that are exposed to severe violent trauma at a certain age grow up to be sociopathic sadist killers’ that are implied in both books and TV series, the ‘possession’ part adds a layer that’s too much.

“Demonic Possession: Fact or Fancy? it said, and as I read the title I distinctly heard the far-off sound of a nickel dropping. It would be very easy for an outside observer to shake his head and say, Yes, obviously, Dexter is a dull boy if he has never thought of that. But the truth is, I had not. Demon has so many negative connotations, doesn’t it? And as long as the Presence was present, there seemed no need to define it in those arcane terms. It was only now that it was gone that I required some explanation. And why not this one? It was a bit old-fashioned, but its very hoariness seemed to argue that there might be something to it, some connection that went back to the nonsense with Solomon and Moloch and all the way up to what was happening to me today.” 

The first two books in the series hinted a bit at a supernatural element; the first book’s dreams, for example, and they way our beloved serial killer referred to his dark side as a separate persona who resided in him. I always figured this was metaphorical, but book 3 makes it clear that this is quite literal. Dexter’s Dark Passenger leaves him after being scared off by a darker force that is killing people in Miami. Dexter is left without his murderous intuition, without his bloodthirst, and without his emotionless demeanor.

All in all, a good read, but not as good as the first two books.