I do not like gory things, me. I could never watch Dexter because reading the words ‘There was a pyramid of bloodless heads on the table’ and SEEING A PYRAMID OF BLOODLESS HEADS ON THE TABLE are two different colors of horse.
But Darkly Dreaming Dexter is, mercifully, not illustrated. It is also not full of Stephen-King-esque gobbets and hunks of stuff. What a word, gobbets. It makes me dry-heave just thinking about it. But Lindsay’s gore is, how you say, clean. Appropriate, no? Given that Dexter is a fastidious serial killer?
So, Dexter is a fastidious serial killer, and he hneeds to kill things. His long-dead foster-dad taught him to kill only the things that need killing (other serial killers, say), and to not get caught. Now there’re bodies showing up willy nilly all drained of blood, and Dexter-the-blood-spatter-specialist needs to quiet down Dexter-the-fastidious-serial-killer-who-is-intruiged-by-these-tidy-bloodless-bodies and help Deb-the-down-on-her-luck-cop-and-also-his-foster-sister figure out whodunnit without letting on that his own serial-killer-brain is giving him the goods.
Also tricky, from Lindsay’s point of view, is making you like Dexter. The man only approximates human emotions, and may or may not have a soul (my money’s on ‘not’). HE KILLS PEOPLE!!! SLOWLY, AND WITH MANY KNIVES! But you try not to like him, and see how far it gets you.
And it’s periodically hilarious. I wouldn’t file it under ‘humor’ because it isn’t a laugh a minute, but it isn’t trying to be. Lindsay isn’t flinging a pot of spaghetti-jokes at the wall to see what’ll stick. He’s chucking lawn darts. It’s like in Burn After Reading when Brad Pitt gets shot allofasudden, but there has been no real violence up to that point and it’s still early on in the movie and you’re all WTF’d. So, it’s unexpected, I think would be the bullet point of that digressive paragraph.
Two tiny beeflets: As with any book where a character specializes in something, it tends to be a bit over-explainy, a teensy bit BEHOLD! My research! Also, I narrowly missed taking a class on Alliterative Tradition – that is, the tradition of alliterating – because a.) half of it would have been in Old English, and b.) while alliteration, like puns, used to be a point of high art, it is now the stuff of kiddie lit , and I can’t take it seriously. The series continues with Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, and so on. There are many Ds.
But fun! And innovative! And less gory than the blood-bespattered cover would have you believe!