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Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  148,492 Ratings  ·  5,358 Reviews
Meet Dexter, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing...a monster who cringes at the site of blood...a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likable: “he only kills bad people.”

Dexter Morgan isn’t exactly the kind of man you’d bring home to Mom. Though he’s playful and has a wonderfully ironic sense of humor, Dexter’s one character flaw (his proclivity for murde
Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published March 27th 2012 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2004)
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May 17, 2008 Daniel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Like so many others, I loved the Showtime series and wanted to check out the original source material. I was very disappointed indeed. Since a lot of other people seem to have liked it, it may just be a matter of taste, but...

The characters are two-dimensional cliches that can't tie their own shoelaces, except for the daringly deductive Dexter, who *can* tie his own shoelaces. Which makes him a genius. I recall seeing someone else comment that Darkly Dreaming Dexter needs to "show, don't tell."
I'm a BIG fan of the Dexter TV show on Showtime. This led to me being a bit hesitant to read the novels because I was worried about a serious case of disappointment. Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the title character is such an integral part of my enjoyment of the series that approached this book with trepidation, worried I wouldn't relate* as well to the novel's main character.

* a dangerous thought, I know, given Dexter's proclivities.

Well, turns out that my fears were groundless. The characte
This review is brought to you by the letter D.

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Dexter is a delightfully demented and dynamic dude...

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Well now that is enough of that...

Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter pattern analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department, but in his spare time he enjoys boating, eating donuts, spending time with his foster sister Deborah, playing with his girlfriend Rita's children...oh and killing people. Dexter lives by a code, "The Code of Harry". Before Harry Morgan -Dexter's foster father- died, he taught his
Nov 03, 2011 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Getting in mind of Dexter is never boring his insight is funny and his technique of killing is masterful.Dexter talks of his beginnings, of his first kill, the day his dark passenger became the rider. Recollections of the past with his father Harry and his deadly advice, its a good fast read in the rambling mind of a sociopath Dexter.
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Liza H
Jan 23, 2008 Liza H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: done
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2007 Chloe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love to root for the bad guy
Mysteries and Thrillers are often hit-or-miss for me. I have had the good fortune of being recommended a lot of writings from the creme de la creme of this genre by my father, so grew up ingesting PD James, John le Carre, and Dennis Lehane with the pulp sci-fi that was my fare of choice. I have also, at times, been forced to read a James Patterson or John Grisham for lack of any other reading materials. This has given me a broad exposure to what could arguably be called the most popular genre in ...more
Nov 03, 2015 Mario rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, own-read
I'm a very neat monster.

I'm really ashamed to say that it took me two weeks to read this book. Two weeks for a 280 pages book! I mean, yeah, the university has been kicking my ass, but still, that is no excuse.

This book is about Dexter, our friendly neighbourhood serial killer. Since I've seen the TV series, I knew even before I started this book that I was going to like it. And I did. It didn't blow my mind or anything, but it was still a pretty great book. It started off great, middle did drag
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Dexter is a serial killer, a killer who just can't help himself. He doesn't even see himself as human. But he does have something of a conscience and lives by the Code of Harry, his cop foster father, who understood his nature and sought to help Dexter control it somewhat when he was a teenager. Now a blood spatter analyst for Miami police, he's brought in on gruesome murder cases and a new serial killer in the city has Dexter feeling inspired, flattered and awestruck - and frightened that it's ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Michael
Firstly I have never seen the show. Not once, not a single episode. Over the years I've been told to watch it countless times and then told I have to read the books. Well finally I decided to read one.

While it was a good story it always felt like something was missing. I prefer my crime books to have more truth about them. The whole plot point of the dreaming was honestly annoying. It felt like it was there just because the author couldn't think of a clever way of getting Dexter to the crime sce
Oct 13, 2007 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fricken-awesome
Oh Moon, glorious Moon --- Why did'nt I pick this up when it was first released is beyond me!

I love Dexter and his Dark Passenger. His sarcastic wit, his lizard brain, his fake girlfriend and actual love of little kids. His hobby-related career as a blood-splatter analyst by day, and his moonlighting as a killer of killers by night.

Whats not to love?? If you havent read this book (series) yet, you dont know what your missing! I highly recommend this to everyone.

I am ranking this my #2 favorite
Nov 01, 2007 Lauryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like thrillers who don't watch the show
Yeah, yeah, yeah...
so I picked this up because I saw the Showtime series. I admit, I have become a big fan of the show, which is pretty smart and complex, despite its kind of silly premise. AND it's gruesome, which is always good. The book, however, lacks the depth and character development of the show. I suppose that's one thing that television, as a medium, is actually really good at. The book feels a little flip, and a little silly, andeven though it's the first in a series, it doesn't feel l
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Thriller and serial killer fans
Recommended to Edward by: John
This is going to be a short review.

I've heard people say that the books are better than the series, but I don't agree. I think they are equally enjoyable, and given how much they branch away from each other come season two/book two, it's easy to call them completely different monsters. The show goes off the rails around season four, and the books become illogical after book two, but both the series are fun, to a point. The final season of the Showtime series was such a disappointment that it is
Brilliant! What a character to adore: so fresh, crazy, ironic, scathing... I love Dexter!

I haven't seen the TV adaptation but if the book is like this, I can imagine it will be very good too...Maybe some day...
I have enjoyed a lot this first book. The way is written without separating the dialogues, the well-defined characters, their sarcastic names like "Sangre" or "LaGuerta" (what makes me think of "lagarta" in spanish eheh), the sentences in spanish, Dexter's thoughts and dreams...

It is a ver
Oh, Dexter... where to begin? I should probably disclose that I am a huge fan of the show, and have been for quite a few years. (What show? If anyone really doesn't know, it's a series on Showtime with this wonderfully creepy intro.) So I picked up Darkly Dreaming Dexter with more than a little trepidation. After all, as an avid reader, I am usually that pissed off person fuming that Hollywood makes too many unnecessary changes when transforming a book to either the big or little screen. Once in ...more
Feb 26, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I binge watched Dexter on Netflix a couple years ago and was hoping I would love the books just as much as I loved the television series. As usual, I think I like the book (at least the first one) even better! You really get inside Dexter's head in the book since it is entirely told from his perspective with his mental commentary splashed throughout. He really does have quite the sense of humor. I'm glad I decided to try out the book, and I cannot wait to read the others as well.
Apr 07, 2009 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2009
I simply love Showtime's Dexter. If Dexter the TV show were a book, I'd give it 5 stars. I've held off on reading the books that the show is based on for a while, because I didn't want anything to sully my Dexter-love. Was it possible they could favorably compare?

Luckily, Jeff Lindsay's first Dexter novel is pretty damn charming. Like The Princess Bride, the screen version by its very nature ends up missing a lot of the wonderfulness that's hidden in the narration. I loved the constant use of al
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bark's Book Nonsense
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrated by: Author Jeff Lindsay

Darkly Dreaming Dexter introduces Dexter Morgan serial killer of serial killers. To the outside world he is a charming, attractive normal guy with a respectable job with the forensic department. But Dexter (for anyone who hasn’t watched the tv show) is constantly battling his “dark passenger” who dreams of death and can only be assuaged by brutal murder and clinical dismemberment. He was adopted as a young boy by a polic
Simona Stoica

Cum să nu te captiveze povestea unui criminal în serie care încearcă să prindă un alt criminal în serie, în timp ce omoară, în nopţile libere, alţi criminali în serie? 3.5
Jan 29, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, movie-is-better
I really wanted to love this book because the TV show is one of my favourite series but it turns out the show is much better. Usually I go on and on about books being unnecessarily long but this book was too short. It just needed more.

Jeff Lindsay definitely deserves credit for coming up with the character, Dexter but the book could have been so much better. Michael C. Hall's portrayal of Dexter on the tv show was brilliant and so I was worried that I wouldn't like book Dexter but I was wrong.
This is a strange book with a strange premise (a serial killer/cop who kills bad guys as a way to feed his grotesque desires).

On that particular front, I had high expectations. After all, getting into the head of a serial killer has so many possibilities.

I didn't even mind the humorous undercurrents, though at times the narrative bordered on silly. And, I guess it's hard to make cold-blooded murder funny.

But what I couldn't get over was the lack of imagination here. Beyond the initial premise, t
Aug 21, 2008 April rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniacs who arent thinking clearly
Like Dianne Ladd said in "Wild at Heart", this book is a "peice of S-H-I-toot". Dexter is a serial killer but only takes out people who deserve it. This is a great book for the housewife reader's circles who want something slightly edgy but lets them sleep at night, too. Dexter's personality is an mix of snobbishness and pseudo-intelligence, neither of which are believable or developed. And the bad news is, the book flap says Dexter will be the main character in more books to come. When I finish ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Kaora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never watched the TV show so I can't really compare the two, but I found this book creepy.

It is creepy in how well the author captured Dexter's personality and reasoning. It was disturbing.

My only complaints are with some of the narration. I found it irritating how he would get these feelings he couldn't explain that he was missing something and I would have to sit there until 10 pages later when it came to him, and the cycle would repeat.

Not sure if I'll continue with the series. I'm a l
Rick Fisher
I think it's hard to read a series after having watched it performed so perfectly on television. And, this being one of my favorite shows ever, I wasn't sure how well it would read.
The top point about doing this is also the lowest point. There are clearly defined pictures in your head, while reading, of every character. It paints a more vivid picture of each of them. I can hear Michael C. Hall's voice so intensely with each paragraph. It's such a great enhancement.
But, what happens when the a
Jun 20, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like their crime with a side order of humor
For the most part, the basic plot of the book is stereotypical crime thriller: there's a serial killer on the loose who must be stopped before he can strike again (and, of course, each crime scene is more inventive than the last). However, what makes the book so enjoyable is that Dexter, the blood splatter expert trying to catch the killer, is also a serial killer--albeit, a kinder, gentler killer. Because Dexter's foster father (a former policeman) spotted the signs of Dexter's sociopathic beha ...more
Majo's Library.
Apenas llegar a terminar de leer el primer capítulo, me hizo pensar que éste es un libro de lectura obligatoria para quienes (como yo) aman este género. El hecho de terminarlo en una noche, me hizo confirmarlo. Fue una lectura altamente adictiva.

Y es que en esta primera entrega de la saga "Dexter" del autor norteamericano Jeff Lindsay, nos sumergimos en una historia peculiarmente encantadora (y digo encantadora en el verdadero y más crudo sentido literal de la palabra) que con su trama que, al s
Jan 05, 2016 Darkslyric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Darkslyric by: myself
As I am a real Dexter fan I have to say I loved the book. It was nice to get a better understanding of Dexter and how he works. The show could only give so much. I like the play between Dexter and his brother Brian. It was almost as though they were mentally linked. Like Brian could control Dexter's thoughts through his dreams. Or maybe it was just gmta (great minds think alike). Whatever it was it made for a nice read and I will most definately finish the series at some point. Jeff Lindsay writ ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sill enjoyed reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter even though I knew what was gong to happen. Because I have watched most of the first season of Dexter on dvd. The good thing is I haven't watch any of the other seasons of Dexter on dvd. So the rest of the books in the series will be new to me. Will read one a month until I finish the series. Only seven more to go, looking forward to it. I gave Darkly Dreaming Dexter 4 stars.
Jan 25, 2016 Pooriya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
خواب مگر جز این است که دیوانهبازیهای خودمان را میاندازیم تو چاه تاریک ناخودآگاه و وقتی از توش بیرون بیاییم عوض اینکه بخواهیم برویم کلیهی بچهی همسایه را صبحانه بخوریم، نان و پنیرمان را میخوریم؟ ...more
Shayantani Das
Like millions and millions of other people, I too am a rabid Dexter (the TV show) fan. I very recently became aware that it was inspired by this novel and downloaded the audio book and “not hated” this book (don’t tell me that isn’t a word). It’s difficult for me to be a fair judge, because of course I inevitable start comparing the show and the book and everyone knows how that goes, Michael C. Hall's acting skills being such an essential part of the series. Hopefully though, the narrator of my ...more
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  • I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)
  • The Nothing Man
  • Sweetheart (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #2)
  • Every Last Drop (Joe Pitt, #4)
  • The Hundredth Man (Carson Ryder, #1)
  • Hater (Hater, #1)
  • The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers
  • The Beast (Grens & Sundkvist #1)
  • The Death Sculptor (Robert Hunter, #4)
  • Obsession
  • Graverobbers Wanted: No Experience Necessary (Andrew Mayhem #1)
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  • Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1)
  • Dark Origins (Level 26, #1)
  • I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
  • Vulcan's Hammer
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  • Locked Doors (Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite #2)
Jeff Lindsay is the pen name of an American crime writer, Jeffry P. Freundlich, who lives in Cape Coral, Florida with his wife, author Hilary Hemingway, daughter of Leicester Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's brother.

Lindsay is best known for writing the Dexter series of novels. Many of his earlier published works include his wife as a co-author. Time Blender was written with Michael Dorn. He graduat
More about Jeff Lindsay...

Other Books in the Series

Dexter (8 books)
  • Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter, #2)
  • Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3)
  • Dexter By Design (Dexter, #4)
  • Dexter Is Delicious (Dexter, #5)
  • Double Dexter (Dexter, #6)
  • Dexter's Final Cut (Dexter, #7)
  • Dexter Is Dead (Dexter, #8)

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“Weren't we all crazy in our sleep? What was sleep, after all, but the process by which we dumped our insanity into a dark subconscious pit and came out on the other side ready to eat cereal instead of our neighbor's children?” 267 likes
“I'm not sure what I am. I just know there's something dark in me. I hide it. I certainly don't talk about it, but it's there always, this Dark Passenger. And when he's driving, I feel alive, half sick with the thrill of complete wrongness. I don't fight him, I don't want to. He's all I've got. Nothing else could love me, not even... especially not me. Or is that just a lie the Dark Passenger tells me? Because lately there are these moments when I feel connected to something else... someone. It's like the mask is slipping and things... people... who never mattered before are suddenly starting to matter. It scares the hell out of me.” 244 likes
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