Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dexter by Design (Dexter, #4)” as Want to Read:
Dexter by Design (Dexter, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dexter by Design (Dexter #4)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  16,338 ratings  ·  939 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dexter by Design, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dexter by Design

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Audiobook and Dexter fans
Recommended to Edward by: John
Day Four, fourth book done. I will admit that this one was much harder to get through than the previous three books. Alas, I finished it, so I'm still on track with my Seven Days/Seven Books challenge.

There's not much good to say about this one. The story line is preposterous. Dexter just happens upon a crazy artist in Paris only to come home to find not one but two crazy artists running around Miami. Add to that the forced storytelling devices used to add the kids to the fun again and I think
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
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.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Claudette Melanson
Love these books! As I've said in other Dexter reviews, I do love the show more, but it's really unfair to compare the two.

The author comes up with wickedly devious murder scenes...stuff I've never even thought about before. The murders in this book turn out to not actually be murders...but things rapidly progress in that direction. The mystery seemed to be about one thing and then it switched and became another, throwing the reader off guard. There's some trouble with Dexter's foul-mouthed sist
#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,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I sure do wish that Dexter wasn't so mumbly-stumbly, even though it is all part of his façade...
4.5 stars
"There was no sign of life, and no large heap of body parts dragged to the curb waiting for pickup."
[Being an avid fan of the TV series and now going back to the original material, I can see where purists may be put off by the difference between the two mediums, ( which happens when books are adapted to screen) however I am able to totally appreciate the book arc completely. It would have been very difficult to transfer 2 keys characters to TV without red flagging social services, and
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
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.
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
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.
Book four of the Dexter series does not follow the path of book three, in which there is an almost supernatural element involved with the Dark Passenger backstory. With book four we’re back to basics, with Dexter doing what he does best. Whilst it isn’t the best of the Dexter books it is another gripping read filled with the usual lovable Dexter moments (his wit in particular keeping you smiling throughout).

Filled with the characters we have come to know and love (or possibly hate, in some cases
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
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Dexter isn't quite himself in this book. I wonder if it's because he recently got married? Anyhow, he stumbles and bumbles his way through while a killer goes after his family. And he has another person clued into the fact he isn't normal like he tries to portray. And Sergeant Debs is in the hospital. This maybe another reason he's not his put together self. But he barely gets himself together and solves the problem. Plus it seems Dex is growing feelings.... Hmmm...
Oh Dexter.

I had no idea there was as little Dexter as there is. I was in the bookstore a week ago and noticed a new Dexter book and was surprised that it is only the 8th Dexter book in the series. Seems like I read the first Dexter (Darkly Dreaming Dexter) years ago and there should be more. I do know that it’s been too long since I read Dexter in the Dark (#3), which was about 2 years ago. I’ve decided that the easiest thing to keep me reading is to stick to these brain candy type series. I’m
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.

* Dexter's honeymoon in Paris with Rita
* Strange video art exhibit in Paris
* Dark Passenger
(view spoiler)
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
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
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
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 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
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  
  • The Psychology of Dexter
  • South of Heaven
  • Clandestine
  • Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter
  • 2 in the Hat
  • Deep as the Marrow
  • Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2)
  • Blood Eagle (Jan Fabel, #1)
  • Tishomingo Blues
  • My Dead Body (Joe Pitt, #5)
  • Lisa Jackson's Bentz & Montoya Bundle: Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, Shiver, Absolute Fear, Lost Souls, Malice, & an Exclusive Extended Excerpt from Devious(New Orleans #1-6)
  • The Burning Man (Fringe, #2)
  • Dark Prophecy (Level 26, #2)
  • Cat and Mouse (Alex Cross, #4)
  • As Dog is My Witness (Aaron Tucker Mystery #3)
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)
  • 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)
  • Dexter's Final Cut (Dexter, #7)
  • Dexter Is Dead (Dexter, #8)

Share This Book

“Why bother inflicting enormous pain on yourself when sooner or later Life would certainly get around to doing it for you?” 43 likes
“I don't know if you have noticed this, but it is quite possible for two human beings to have a conversation in which one or both parties involved has absolutely no idea what they're talking about.” 31 likes
More quotes…