Darkly Dreaming Dexter

by

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Author:  Jeff Lindsay

Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publication date: July 2004

Number of Pages: 304 Pages

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: 2000′s

Series (if applicable): #1 in the Dexter Morgan Series

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan walks a fine line between what’s right and what’s primal.  He does his best to appear to be a mild mannered blood spatter analyst at the Miami-Dade Police Department.  He blends because that’s what his dearly-departed former cop father, Harry, taught him to be when he was young.  Harry knew what Dexter was before Dexter himself knew: a serial killer.  Dexter learns to channel his murderous tendencies (aka “the Dark Passenger”) and only uses them to murder criminals of the lowest caliber who’ve gotten away with their crimes.  Dexter’s world turns upside down when he begins helping his fellow police officer (and sister) Deb hunt down the Tamiami Slasher using his unusual abilities to see into a killer’s mind.  Deb is dying to get out of vice, and this case is her meal ticket.  Dexter sees the ins and outs of this case a bit too easily for his own comfort; he begins to question his own innocence.  Is Dexter too close to this case to come through and help his sister? Has he become the one thing he’s never allowed himself to be: out of control?

Subject Headings: Police Work, Forensic Science, Serial Murderers, Vigilantes

Appeal Terms: Chilling, Fast-Paced, Darkly Humorous, Violent, Disturbing, Gritty, Series Characters, Details of urban Miami, Florida, Smart, Melancholy, Psychological

3 Terms that Describe this Book: Disturbing, Engrossing, Witty

—3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works/Authors

1. Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness
by Pete Earley
(Dual Memoir/Journalistic Investigation into the criminalization of America’s mentally ill, exposing what the author experienced during a year-long investigation into the Miami-Dade County Jail).

2. How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills
by Seth Grahame-Smith
(Teaches the reader how to survive every kind of horrific obstacle he might encounter).

3.  Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment
by Harold Schecter
(Argues that violence in the media actually serves as a beneficial outlet and contends that the modern generation’s exposure to violence is less than that of historical periods).

—3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.  Denial
by Keith Ablow (A psychological thriller pits a forensic psychologist against a homeless schizophrenic who confesses to a grisly murder).

2.  Blood Ties
by Kay Hooper (The paranormally talented Special Crimes Unit faces an especially gruesome monster that tries to take the whole Unit down).

3.  Chill Factor
by Sandra Brown  (When a serial killer who leaves a blue ribbon at the site of his victims’ last sightings appears in a peaceful town, police chief Dutch Burton finds the case complicated by his ex-wife’s disappearance during a blizzard).

Name:  Jennifer Hovanec

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