Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Hmm. In my eagerness over the third book, I forgot to post a review of the second. Well, here goes.

Poor Dexter. He’s supposed to be our Dark Avenger, but at the beginning of this book he is forced to play the domestic man, playing kick the can with his girlfriend Rita’s kids and pretending to be the devoted boyfriend. All because of Sergeant Doakes.

Our dear Sergeant Doakes is quite convinced at this point that Dexter is a serial killer. He’s entirely right, and he has taken to following Dexter. Everywhere. Why Dexter doesn’t issue a formal complaint with his coworkers is anyone’s guess, but either way he cannot go out hunting evil. His life is dull routine.

However, a plot must happen, one way or another, and it happens in the most gruesome way. This is no killer they’re hunting-rather a man who has taken his victim, mutilated the man beyond help, and left him alive. Dexter refers to this as a “yodeling potato”, which is one of those instances where you’re laughing and shuddering at the same time. (Lindsay is good at getting that reaction.) However, very soon the feds step in and take it over, and it seems Doakes and the government man sent to deal with the problem are acquainted.

While Dexter’s sister Debra and the government man Chutsky get very closely acquainted, Dexter spends his time between pretending to be a good boyfriend and researching what is happening. He soon discovers that Doakes, Chutsky-and the “yodeling potato”-were part of a special ops team in South America. And then Chutsky disappears…

I can’t say this was as good as the first book, but it was still decent. In some ways it was more disturbing due to the nature of the antagonist. However, the book does convey Dexter’s sense of frustration very well. You want Doakes to just go get a life so our protagonist can go back to killing bad guys. For some reason there seemed to be less comedy in this one, maybe because the antagonist was much creepier than the last one. Still, a good read, and bonus points for the concept of owning an “attack peacock”.

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