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Dexter by Design (Dexter #4)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  14,278 ratings  ·  873 reviews
After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard — and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of ...more
290 pages
Published February 5th 2009 by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eileen
Hmm... I am not quite sure what to make of this. I felt like I was waiting to get into the thick of it but before I knew it, I finished the book - and I don't mean that in a good way. I think it's an improvement over Dexter in the Dark but I still don't think it's as good as the first two books in the series. It lacks that dark, twisted humour that makes the Dexter books such fun, despite the fairly grim subject matter. I know a character needs to evolve and change, but I'm not liking much the n ...more
Emma Rj
Jeff Lindsay seems to be running out of steam. The first two books of this series were amazing. The third was awful. This installment, the fourth, is slightly better than the last.

I love Dexter but a lot of the quick wit and snark that was so prevalent in the first two books seems to be seriously lacking in Dexter By Design. At least the Dark Passenger is back, though. Hoping for a grand finish in the next book.
Kiri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
paula
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike
Dull, disappointing Dexter... but at least it was better than the last one. After a very promising start, Lindsay has apparently ran out of steam with his brilliantly conceived title character, Dexter. "Dexter by Design" features a hackneyed plot, full of predictable perils and plenty of deus-ex-machina moments. I know, it seems silly to use this word when describing a story about a psychopathic serial killer who hunts down and kills criminals while maintaining his alter ego as a blood spatter a ...more
Marvin
After the only partially entertaining misstep of Dexter in The Dark I was hoping for a return to the killer charm of the first two books in this series. The first two chapters in this fourth installment titled Dexter By Design began to fulfill that exception. The devilish wit was back along with a smart introduction to the theme of "murder as art". Yet soon the novel descended into being the most disappointing of the series. Like the third book, it isn't that it is not entertaining. But the auth ...more
Chloe
It has to be bittersweet to be Jeff Lindsay. On the one hand, he's got it made. He made the big time- a creation of his has flourished and attracted international attention and acclaim through that perennial taste-maker, television. On the other, it really has to suck. His lovable psychopath with a pseudo-conscious, Dexter, has taken on a life of his own removed from the constraints of the page and the control of his creator. Dexter's fate is now written by a team of scribes penning furiously fo ...more
Ladiibbug
#4 Dexter Morgan (Mild mannered Miami P.D. blood spatter expert by day, serial killer of bad guys by night)

Books in this series are the basis for the Showtime/CBS TV series

1/19/11 Re-read :-)

Original 2008 Review:

BRILLIANT! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!! Or, since it's Dexter, perhaps I should say Bloody Brilliant. Or Bizarrely Bloody Brilliant ;-)

Dexter and his new wife Rita return from a honeymoon in Paris where they've visited several art venues, from the classic to the truly bizarre. Coincidentally,
...more
Jack
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Austin Vines
Yay! i think im the first person that found the plot after about an hour of searching!!!!! Being a blood spatter analyst who hates the sight of blood has always made Dexter's work for the Miami PD tough. But it means he's very neat when it comes to his out-of-hours hobby: murder. Of course, the fact Dexter only kills bad people helps too.Now Dex is facing a disturbing situation. He's used to blood at work and blood when he's out with the dark passenger (the voice that guides him on his deadly ou ...more
Mark
As much as I love Dexter and Jeff Lindsay's work, I have to say that I'm starting to love the shows more. Book 3 (Dexter in the Dark) really took a downward turn for the series in my mind, and Dexter By Design seems to try and remedy that. Dexter is more or less back to being darkly disturbing and macabre Dexter, but Lindsay is trying to develop him in ways that show him maturing as a parent (and person!) and more or less reversing roles by sitting on the sideline. He's no longer the nonchalant ...more
Mur Lafferty
Dexter books are enjoyable, although the characters are pretty one-dimensional, especially compared to the TV show. Debra has one mode in this book- grumpy and swearing. Rita is a vapid waste. Dexter is pretty slow, as the author tries to build up to something, the reader can see it coming and just wishes he'd get on with it. Pacing is slower than I remember in the other books; I really don't need to know about Dexter choosing what parking space to take, or the details about his drinks and the f ...more
Gregory Baird
It took three books for it to finally happen, but at long last Dexter and Deborah are going to have to address the elephant in the room: how does a devoted law-abiding policewoman get by knowing that her adopted brother kills people for fun? Can she get by? Dexter is the only family Deb has left--is that familial connection worth sacrificing everything she stands for? Will she have to turn him in?

Really, when you think about it, it makes absolutely no sense that this didn't get addressed sooner.
...more
María
En "Dexter por Decisión propia" Jeff Lindsay nos entrega una obra donde nuestro protagonista, Dexter Morgan, pasa su encantadora luna de miel parisina balanceándose en los delicados hilos de la cordura y en la incesante búsqueda del Pasajero Oscuro, que cada vez parece alejarse aun más de él. Los mayores temores de Dexter de caer en la monotonía de una vida “normal” lo aterran, y busca por todos los medios reencontrarse con su verdadero Yo.
Me gustó bastante, aunque a tiempos lo encontré algo mo
...more
Jackie Waldrom
I picked up this book (the fourth in the Dexter series) expecting more of the same but also something more to keep me engaged and eager to finish. However, I only found one of those things in abundance. There was 'more of the same' in the form of Dexter's wry humour and I genuinely enjoy his voice. Although, the overall structure of the book felt a bit slow at times and only really intrigued me towards the end (in comparison to the previous books I've read in the series). Which is why I can only ...more
 Marla
2.5 stars. I read #3 6 years ago and I will not be reading more of this series for another few years. I like the premise enough to want to know what happens in the story, but I don't like the writing or the characterizations. The idea is more appealing than the reality. I watched the first season of the TV series and found that to be much more enjoyable.

Likes:
* Dexter's honeymoon in Paris with Rita
* Strange video art exhibit in Paris
* Dark Passenger
(view spoiler)
...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD narrated by Nick Landrum

Dexter Morgan returns in thriller number 4 in this series featuring a psychopathic serial killer who ONLY goes after the “bad guys.”

I’m tired of the whole “dark passenger” thing flapping his bat wings and silently chucking or salivating with excitement in the background of Dexter’s brain. I really dislike the whole third person reference to himself as “Dexter.” I’m unable to suspend disbelief re his protégés – Amber and Cody, or his wife, Rita. It’s inconsiste
...more
Kit
Significantly better than the last novel, even if the writing continues to be repetitive and childish. Characters remain flat other than Cody and Dexter, really, and the degree to which Miami Metro remains completely ignorant is lightened a touch. (Seriously, how did any of these people get jobs as police?) The "mystery" took a lot of the backseat to other events in Dexter's life, including Deb in peril (for once, I know), scrutiny into his private life (for once, I know), and balancing family a ...more
Katy
Aug 21, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: twisted souls
Book Info: Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Police Procedural
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: twisted people
Trigger Warnings: murder, desecration of the dead

My Thoughts: This is a crazy book. I found myself extremely amused by Astor's declaration that “nobody speaks French” and Dexter's response that “several people in France do.” I also found Dexter's assessment of the bodies they found to be humorous, not to mention his thoughts on the clothing and various accoutrements that accompanied each.
...more
Giovanni Gelati
I hope that everyone is having a good Sunday and enjoying themselves. We are looking forward to another big week here @ The Scoop as we get closer to the July 4th Holiday weekend. The novels we have on tap for this week are a nice mix of fiction with a nice Guest Post thrown in for good measure. Today though, I would like to concentrate on Jeff Linsay’s work in the Dexter series of novels. I must admit I have not seen the show, I don’t know if I would ruin the feelings I have for the novels by w ...more
David
This was the last of this series I read. Please remember I started reading these books when 3 were out only because I liked the show. So I read all 3 then this 4th. So please don't judge me...lol...actually I don't care. This was the last I read for a reason. I remember while I was reading this book I had an epiphany...that epiphany was I fucking hate these books...this is not good writing. As I said before it just wasn't entertaining...the plots laughable at this point, corny, the characters we ...more
Kate
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lightreads
All right, that's more like it. Our favorite vigilante serial killer goes on his honeymoon to Paris, then comes home to a killer with an artistic bent. And we can all basically pretend that book 3 never happened.

Hilarious, as usual, but also disturbing in places, which is all for the best. And we see Dexter responding to some extremely unexpected circumstances in his own Dexterian way, and reflecting a bit on the Harry code and its implications as he trains his stepkids to be good little sociopa
...more
Emilyzzz
That Epilogue.
Priceless. Must get next book. Dexter... yes.

This novel is hilarious. The dark humor is exactly my taste. I adore it. Dexter is charming, snarky and a serial killer. How can you not fall in love?
Of course, people wonder if the series loses steam over time, but I don't think it has. The story lines are always different, with some big event occurring in Dexter's life specifically too. I have a feeling this is the sort of series I'm going to be able to re-read for the rest of my life.
...more
Laura of Lurking
And he's back on form! Break out the firework… or meat cleavers.

After the last book I was concerned at the writing, the aspect of Dexter's witty confidence being gone, then the marriage, possibly tying him down to a more domestic life.

In this book however he grows bigger wings and finds himself in the awkward situation of feeling, as well as being a teacher to his new children. I love the human aspect he showed, realising that maybe those emotions are in there.

For me the ending was a bit rushed,
...more
Syd Perry
I love the Dexter books. Thank you Melissa. Someday I will watch the TV shows. I wish I would've been paying attention when they were on CBS. Not sure I want the full blown Showtime version. Also not sure I'd recommend these books to everyone. There's a lot of bad language (sister Deb has a trash mouth) and Dexter is, after all, a serial killer so there are some gruesome, yet tastefully done, parts.

I've just finished this latest of the Dexter books. Like the leader of the A-Team used to say, I
...more
Brandon
I think I might be starting to enjoy the television series more than the books. I'm not sure why that is, maybe I'm just not a fan of Lindsay's style. I'm sure it must be frustrating for an author to sell his character/work and have that adaptation exceed his original vision in every way. I found myself bored by this book and lacking ambition to finish it as I felt it was really was not going anywhere.

It seems like it takes forever for anything to come to a conclusion and the novel actually does
...more
Casey
Dexter by Design was a gigantic step forward from the previous installment of the series, Dexter in the dark. Although this was a way better book I still didn't find it to be all that it could be. The story line of the murders were wonderful and creative but the ending sort of fell flat until the very last sentence which gave me just enough to want to get into the next book immediately.

Having watched the Dexter series on TV I think I spoiled myself for the books. The writers of the show did som
...more
Michael
Dexter by Design is yet another psychological thriller about the anti-hero Dexter Morgan. Jeff Lindsay writes about a more Avant-garde crime in this one, making this an interesting and refreshing read. Dexter by Design revolves around series protagonist Dexter Morgan in Paris on his honeymoon. While in Paris, he gets caught up in the world of modern art. While visiting an art gallery, Dexter and Rita are introduced to the concept of body parts as art. This book continues to reduce the use of Fir ...more
Kate Collins
Being a huge fan of the Showtime series, "Dexter," I was thrilled to discover there were books that started the series. One of the things I love about the TV show is the narrator's voice -- droll, witty -- and now I understand that it comes straight from the book. I can picture the characters as I read. I'm glad I started with the show first, because I don't think I would have picked up the book otherwise. The premise is a bit frightening, but it works! A serial killer who kills serial killers. ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Dexter By Design 3 12 May 02, 2014 06:14AM  
Chat with Author ...: Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay 7 2 Jan 31, 2014 09:35AM  
Already available in the UK and Australia! 1 34 Apr 14, 2009 11:10PM  
Now available for pre-order 5 68 Mar 21, 2009 07:55PM  
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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
More about Jeff Lindsay...
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1) Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter, #2) Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3) Dexter Is Delicious (Dexter, #5) Double Dexter (Dexter, #6)

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“Why bother inflicting enormous pain on yourself when sooner or later Life would certainly get around to doing it for you?” 35 likes
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