I’m not sure how I’ve gotten this far into World’s Strongest Librarian without reviewing one of the Dexter books, especially since I have read them all and loved them all except for the third. But today it looks like I’m going to start by reviewing the fifth, Dexter is Delicious.
Many people are familiar with Dexter the Showtime showy show, but fewer people have read the books, which is a shame. I like both, but prefer the novels. Author Jeff Lindsay has done something very cool: he has given a character a voice that is absolutely unmistakable. When I read the first paragraph of this book, I immediately thought: This is why I like these so much.
Summary of Dexter is Delicious
First, a summary of the Dexter series as a whole. Dexter is a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department. He is also a serial killer, an any Dexter review should tell you, but it a lot more likable than sociopathic colleagues like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Dexter only kills bad people, as taught to him by Harry, his father, who was a police officer. Harry noticed early on that his adopted son Dexter was “different.” I’m not going to spoil anything that has happened between that first book and book five, but I can summarize the plot without giving anything away.
The book opens much like the others, with Dex getting summoned to a crime scene by his shrill, foul-mouthed sister, Deborah. An 18 year old girl is missing. It looks like it might be a kidnapping. But that would be much too simple. Soon we’re dealing with another missing girl, a group of vampires who hang out at a lurid club called Fang, and it also looks like there might be some cannibals involved.
As always, the gruesome investigations are offset by the balancing act Dexter has to go through at home as he tries to preserve the mask of normalcy and take care of his family while still satisfying the darker aspects of his nature. In this book it’s the addition of Lily Anne, the baby, that provides most of the comic relief as Dexter resolves to change his ways, then is immediately put into situations where he can’t do so.
The Dexter books are almost satire to begin with, in my opinion, so I don’t mind when they get as over-the-top as Dexter is Delicious does. Cannibals? Sure, why not? If you read Jeff Lindsay’s books for the realism I’m not sure what to say about that, except that that there are more realistic books out there that are meant to be read for that very reason.
I thought this fifth installment was a lot of fun. The surprises were the least surprising yet, and the violence got pretty silly, but again, silly is partially what I’m after when I open these books.
Another worthy installment in one of my favorite escapist series.