Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Dearly Devoted Dexter (Audio)

Summary:  Dexter Morgan has been under considerable pressure. In trying to avoid the deep suspicions of the dangerous Sergeant Doakes - who believes Dexter is a homicidal maniac (which, of course, he is) - Dexter has had to slip further into his foolproof domestic disguise. While not working as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he now spends nearly all his time with his girlfriend, Rita, and her two children.

But how long can Dexter play Kick the Can instead of Slice the Slasher? How long before his Dark Passenger forces him to drop the charade of family life and let his inner monster run free?

In trying times, opportunity knocks. A particularly nasty psychopath is cutting a trail through Miami - a man who "slices and dices and leaves vegetables behind". Dexter's dark appetite is revived, but it's not until his nemesis, Sergeant Doakes, is abducted that Dex can finally throw himself headlong into the search for a new plaything.

Unless, of course, his plaything finds him first. -- Recorded Books

I guess I'm ready to admit that I'm kind of becoming a fan of audio books. Even though it's not my favorite way to read a book, I will say that I am enjoying the opportunity to get in a bit more reading time during my morning runs. I just finished my second book in the Dexter series and I liked it -- a lot. This time, I read DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER by Jeff Lindsay and narrated by Nick Landrum. I figured since I enjoyed the first Dexter book so much, I'd just keep on going through the entire series (or at least the first four books because I actually own the fifth one in hardcover.)

As I mentioned before, I am a huge fan of the Dexter television show and I absolutely love the character of Dexter. While I will always think of Michael C. Hall's voice as one and the same as Dexter's, I didn't have any issues this time around getting used to Mr. Landrum's narration. I'm still not sure that I've listened to enough audio books to determine the quality of Mr. Landrum's performance, but as far as I can tell, he did a fantastic job with all of the voices. Since Dexter doesn't really have the same emotions and feelings as a normal human being, much of his commentary is rather flat and almost deadpan. I thought Mr. Landrum managed to perfectly capture the essence of Dexter's personality and macabre sense of humor.

As far as the story goes, I thought DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER was extremely entertaining (although I will say that it's a little creepy running in the dark listening to Dexter chop up criminals!) This second book in the series picks up right where the first one ended; however, it's not absolutely necessary to read them in order. Having said that, I would suggest reading the first book before this one because there are a few references to the past that definitely contain spoilers.

DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER is primarily a mystery story, and in this case, a very intriguing and suspenseful one. However, I think I enjoy the aspects surrounding the character of Dexter as much, if not more so, than the mystery parts of the book. I love how complex Dexter is and I really enjoy seeing  how he maneuvers his way through life. I appreciate his plotting, planning and scheming against the criminals, but also how he has to pretty much plot, plan and scheme just to keep his dark side hidden from his family and friends. I find it all so fascinating and utterly riveting!

Despite all of the gruesomeness of these books, I'm always amazed by how funny they are. I love how Ms. Lindsay incorporates so much humor into some very sick and twisted situations (or maybe I'm the sick one for laughing at these books!) And, that's one of the reasons why I appreciate listening to these books more reading them -- I can actually hear Dexter's thoughts. For some reason, hearing Dexter's sarcasm and frustration with humans is so much funnier than reading about them.

Overall, I wasn't totally surprised with some of the things that happened in DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER, but I was highly entertained by the characters and the twist and turns of the storyline. The book kept my interest and took me on a very fun (and dare I say sick?) ride! If you are a fan of the Dexter television show or even a fan of dark mystery books, then I highly suggest checking out this series -- especially on audio!


Beth F said...

I have the first one in audio. I too love the SHO series. I can't imagine being in the dark and listen to Dexter, who (according to the show) is also a "creature of the night."

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've never tried Dexter before (nor watched the series) but in a twisted way I'm intrigued! But more importantly, this is very good that you are loving audios! They are a mom's best friend I tell you. I don't sit down much, and I'm sure you don't either. It solves alot of problems, including doing all those boring household chores!

bermudaonion said...

Carl and Vance love the TV show. Vance has read the first book and liked it - I'll have to tell him the second one's good too.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I finally gave in and am reading the first Dexter book. I LOVE the show and at first wasn't sure I would like the books...but even though the show is narrated, I think the books give the reader an even more in depth look at Dexter. I'm not sure how I would feel about the audio book being read by someone else. I'm new to audiobooks as well, but the ones I've listened to so far have been read by the authors...I think it adds authenticity for me.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm so jealous of all these people who have Showtime and can watch. I hear people say the show is better than the books. I guess I could get the dvd. Because who doesn't love a fun and sick ride?!!! :--)

Alyce said...

I've avoided listening to suspense novels in audio form because of the creepiness factor (but then I don't read them that often anyway). What surprises me is that there are so many of them in the local library's collection (probably about 80% of the audiobooks).