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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

     

Dexter is Delicious

by
Jeff Lindsay


general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Dexter is Delicious



Title: Dexter is Delicious
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Genre: Novel
Written: 2010
Length: 350 pages
Availability: Dexter is Delicious - US
Dexter is Delicious - UK
Dexter is Delicious - Canada
Dexter is Delicious - India
Ce delicieux Dexter - France
. .
DVD: Dexter: The First Season - US
Dexter: The Second Season - US
Dexter: The Third Season - US
Dexter: The Fourth Season - US
  • The fifth in the Dexter-series

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Our Assessment:

B : a bit laid-back, but entertaining

See our review for fuller assessment.




Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Globe and Mail . 16/9/2010 Martin Levin
The LA Times . 24/9/2010 J.A. Jance
The NY Times Book Rev. . 5/9/2010 Marilyn Stasio
USA Today . 2/6/2011 Carol Memmott


  Review Consensus:

  From the Reviews:
  • "(F)antastic coincidences aside, it does deliver the goods." - Martin Levin, The Globe and Mail

  • "Lindsay's original, cockeyed view of the world is alive and well and utterly uncorrupted by Hollywoodese in his latest novel. (...) Lindsay's seamless transitions between light and dark -- you can't get darker than human cannibalism -- and between funny and horrifying are as jarringly effective in written form as they are in film." - J.A. Jance, The Los Angeles Times

  • "While the conflict raging in his recently discovered soul has turned this new, reformed Dexter into a more complex character, hes not as much fun as the howling madman who used to get out his knives whenever the full moon rose." - Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

  • "Lindsay never fails to come up with uniquely weird mysteries for Dexter to solve and serves them up with a huge and satisfying dose of Dexter's inner turmoil." - Carol Memmott, USA Today

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Dexter is Delicious begins with blood spatter analyst/serial murderer Dexter Morgan becoming a father, as his wife, Rita, gives birth to Lily Anne -- and suddenly: "Everything has changed." Yes, Dexter had already got a taste of fatherhood, since he is the step-father to Astor and Cody -- but those two tykes are no innocents, scarred and marred by their abusive father, and Decxter recognizes in them only mini-mes. Lily Anne, on the other hand, is all innocent potential, and Dexter is getting that warm, fuzzy feeling:

     Lily Anne is here and I want to be different.
     I want to be better than I have been.
       Indeed, he goes so far as to say:
     I don't want to be Dark Dexter anymore.
       Of course, this isn't what the fans of this series want to hear -- it's the murderous dark Dexter that's the character that won them over. And now even his 'Dark Passenger' is muted, unable to deal with this new goody-two-shoes incarnation.
       Fortunately, Lindsay doesn't let the fans down -- though there's a bit of overkill in the criminals he brings in to shake Dexter out of his blissed-out reverie -- they're ... cannibals. And, just to keep Dexter a bit more on edge, his brother Brian -- cut of the same cloth as Dexter, but not trained by father Harry to keep his urges and desires in check -- shows up -- and wants to be part of Dexter's new big, happy family (sans Dexter's sister Deborah, of course, since she and Brian still have ... unresolved issues). Dexter isn't too keen on having Brian in the family-picture -- forced to introduce him to Rita and the kids he notes: "The only really appropriate introduction would be, 'This is my brother -- run for your life !'" -- but Brian is a charmer, too (and he also immediately recognizes that familiar gleam in Astor and Cody's eyes -- and is willing to indulge them more than Dexter is).
       It's sister Deborah who catches the cannibal case -- which starts out as the case of two missing teenage girls (who don't seem to have much in common, but have been hanging out together; as it turns out, they both long for the same (very peculiar) thing). She makes decent progress in tracking down the group that is responsible, but pinning anything on them isn't easy. It doesn't help that one of the main suspects is Bobby Acosta, the no-good son of a well-connected and rich father -- though Deborah does make dad the convincing suggestion that things will go much better for Bobby if dad turns him in: with his money and high-powered lawyers he'll see to it that Bobby more or less walks (yet again ...), while as long as he remains on the loose something bad might happen to him.
       Deborah has yet another new partner, but she doesn't much take to him and enlists Dexter to help her out instead -- both Dexter's instincts (which actually aren't too helpful here) and his semi-non-official capacity (making it easier for him to do something law enforcement officials shouldn't, like breaking and entering) coming in somewhat handy here. Deborah's partners have an unfortunate habit of losing life and limb, and that's a streak that looks to continue here. Dexter, at least, is better-equipped to handle some of the vicissitudes of working on a case like this -- but even he has a hard time helping a victim who doesn't want to be helped all that much.
       Dexter is Delicious is a fairly easy-going story -- except when there's Miami traffic to deal with (apparently a constant in the 'Dexter'-books) -- and it's almost a shame that Lindsay doesn't devote more time to the bad guys, and especially the intriguing mastermind behind the cannibalistic villainy. Things work out rather conveniently -- and even if there's a decent reason for all that convenience, it all falls into place rather too easily. Still, the interior tug between Dexter's suddenly subdued demon(s) and the brutal reality of the world (which he wants to protect Lily Anne from) makes for some decent tension, and Lindsay does have Dexter get into some intriguing scrapes here.
       Dexter is Delicious is a solid installment in the series, and among the best reads, with Lindsay having Dexter's tone down pitch-perfectly again, humming and purring on all cylinders. With some open-ended issues surrounding his siblings -- Deborah faces two major changes in her life at the conclusion of the book, while Brian still hasn't entirely explained what he's doing in the neighborhood -- there's also the promise of future fun (though it's this that in a way also lessens the impact of the book as a whole, giving it very much the feel of being an installment in the series rather than a book that can really stand on its own). If the crime and solving feels a bit lackadaisical -- cannibalism ! surely there's more fun to be had with cannibalism ! -- it's still fairly good fun, and certainly entertaining.

- M.A.Orthofer, 27 August 2011

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Links:

Dexter is Delicious: Reviews: Dexter series: Books by Jeff Lindsay in the Dexter-series under review:
  1. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
  2. Dearly Devoted Dexter
  3. Dexter in the Dark
  4. Dexter by Design
  5. Dexter is Delicious
  6. Double Dexter
  7. Dexter's Final Cut
Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       American author Jeff Lindsay (pen name of Jeffry P. Freundlich) was born in 1952.

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© 2011-2013 the complete review

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