Thursday, July 09, 2015

Dexter is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

(hb; 2015: eighth book in the Dexter series)

From the inside flap:

"Dexter has spent the better part of his life burning the candle at both ends: blood-spatter analyst. . . husband. . . father. . . serial killer. We always knew his myriad dark deeds were bound to snare him in a trap of his own making. And now, for the first time, his world has truly collapsed. Dexter is in prison -- accused of multiple homicides. He has lost everything: his wife, his kids, his career, and the loyalty of his sister. Yet, the irony is, Dexter did not commit any of these murders of which he has been accused.

"Dexter is thrown the thinnest of lifelines by an unlikely source -- his brother, Brian, a homicidal maniac  who makes Dexter look like the angel in the family. Brian is in some serious trouble of his own, and by helping him, Dexter sees a possible path to proving his own innocence. But the stakes are truly deadly, and with nothing to lose, Dexter hurtles toward an epic showdown. . . and what may be his demise."


Like Dexter's Final Cut, Dead continues to wreck Dexter's carefully constructed world -- not only that, Dead reads like the series wrap-up novel that it is being touted as in its press.

And, like all of its previous seven novels, it is dark, witty and entertaining. The story is also lean, action- and corpse-packed, now that Dexter has an especially urgent, ticking-clock focus (namely some drug dealers a dirty cop) upon which to inflict his frustrations and survival instincts -- with help from his brother, Brian, who has his own problems to deal with.

The only thing I did not like about Dead is how it ended. I can see why Lindsay might want to end it that way, but given how entertaining and involving  the rest of the book was, the finish felt cheap, like something an amateur hack writer might tack onto his book.

That quibble aside, Dead is worth reading. I would not want to own it, not even at a discounted price, but it is a mostly satisfactory cap-work for the Dexter series.

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