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Darkly Dreaming Dexter | Jeff Lindsay | Reviewed by Erin

 Image via Goodreads

'Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep's clothing. He's handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He's a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened -- of himself or some other fiend.' Source

As a fan of the Showtime adaptation I became interested in exploring the original Dexter story through the novels written by Jeff Lindsay. The first series of the tv show quite closely follows the plot of Darkly Dreamer Dexter although the ending has a quite dramatically different twist. Of course, knowing the general outline of the plot and who the ‘ice truck killer’ was did make what could have been a gripping and exciting read a little less enjoyable. I believe that after the first couple of seasons the show does veer away from the plot of the books so I will definitely continue on with the novels to see how things differ. 

Sadly after getting to know the characters through the actors who play them onscreen I didn’t feel that the book had the same witty humour that the show is loved for. On-screen Dexter is a much more lovable character (promotionally labelled the ‘loveable serial killer’) and I don’t feel that I gained any extra insight into the character by reading the book – perhaps the sign of a well-done adaptation? Also disappointing was the representation of the female characters within the book who are all much smarter and have more depth on screen. In the book they seem to be painted as fairly stupid, in particular Deb & LaGuerta, who seem to be all over the place and not able to do their own jobs properly. 

Overall I would have to agree with popular opinion, whilst Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a fairly quick and quite enjoyable read which doesn’t tell a bad story it’s adaptation definitely tells a better one 3/5


This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here. 


  1. I really enjoyed the book. The writing wasn't what I expected and I liked that it had a "literary" feel. However, I much prefer the TV adaptation.

    I haven't read any more books in the series, but my boyfriend has read almost all of them and he seemed to enjoy the storyline even though the books go in a completely different direction than the show. They're really two separate series.

    1. I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series at some point (I actually have the 4th one sitting on my shelf!) as I'd like to see how the two different stories based around the same character/idea play out. x

  2. I really like the TV show but I've not got around to reading the book yet (usually it is very much the other way around). At least I know I'm not missing anything amazing! But it still sounds like an interesting read so I'll keep my eyes open for it. Thanks!

    1. If you do read the books I'd love to hear your opinion as a fan of the show. I think it's worth reading :) x


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