I’ve never seen the television show, but a friend recently lent me the first two books about the lovable blood spatter analyst who moonlights as a killer of serial killers. Entertainingly written, great premise, and buckets of innovative gore, but I thought there were a few too many staggering coincidences holding the plot together. Plus I’m having a bit of trouble with the title character.
My problem is this. Dexter is presented as totally amoral and without emotion, yet he inexplicably loves kids and cares deeply about his foster sister. It seems like his ability to care about people fluctuates to fit the requirements of the story. I really would have preferred him to be completely without emotion of any kind. Couldn’t the author give him some other, purely logical reason to want to go out of his way to help his sister all the time? The loving kids business seems even less logical and the character even says so more than once, which to me is kind of a cop out. The whole thing seems shoe-horned in order to set up his bonding with the pre-homicidal son of his fiancée.
I also don’t quite understand why his foster father was so strict in teaching him to only hunt those who deserve it, yet he was fine with Dexter’s early experimentation on pets. Of course, torturing pets does fit perfectly with the character of an amoral serial killer and “liking” Dexter as a person is not necessary for me to enjoy the books. (Though I’m amazed that something like animal torture for fun, especially by a first person protagonist with whom the reader is supposed to sympathize, would get an OK from the publisher. I’ve always been told that’s a big no-no.) I just thought it was odd that the strictly moral foster father character would have been ok with it and even encouraged it.
The second book hinted that Dexter would soon be instructing a young protégé in the art of animal torture and killing. Regardless of whether or not it makes sense in the context of the characters, I probably won’t be rushing out to pick that one up. My own personal moral code puts the value of dogs’ lives high above the lives of humans.
Still, I guess I did enjoy reading the first two in a silly potato-chip sort of way. Anyone else read them? What do you guys think? How about the show? Is it worth renting?