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Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  130,315 ratings  ·  4,985 reviews
Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He leads a normal, quiet life working as a forensic officer for the Miami Police. He has a nice, shy girlfriend and is liked by her young children. But Dexter has a secret hobby. He's an accomplished serial killer. So far he's killed dozens of people and has never been caught, because he knows exactly how to dispose of the ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published 2005 by Orion Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Andrew McKee Depends. There's a decent amount of language and I can't remember if there's any sex, but there's definable violence and lots of description of…moreDepends. There's a decent amount of language and I can't remember if there's any sex, but there's definable violence and lots of description of corpses. So, if you're into that, shoot.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Daniel
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."
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Stephen
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
...more
Lou
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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Delee
This review is brought to you by the letter D.

 photo a145c5b8-e2a6-451c-b109-4d9f57e0cbd7_zps4f6d7c3b.jpg

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
...more
Liza H
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chloe
Aug 03, 2007 Chloe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Kim
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
...more
Lori
Oct 13, 2007 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Lauryl
Nov 01, 2007 Lauryl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Megan
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
notyourmonkey
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
...more
Brooke
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
...more
Rubi
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
...more
Sarah
Jul 19, 2015 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
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.
...more
April
Aug 21, 2008 April rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
Kaora
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
...more
Shaun
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
...more
Amanda
Jun 20, 2008 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
...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
Majo
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
...more
Adam
"Feeling - what authentic human fun!"

"And then more quiet, silence so deep it almost drowned out the roar of the night music that pounded away in my secret self."

"What to wear? I could think of no guidelines on what we were wearing this season to a party forced on you to celebrate an unwanted engagement that might turn into a violent confrontation with a vengeful maniac. Clearly brown shoes were out, but beyond that nothing really seemed de rigueur."

"I'm not sure what I am. I just know there's
...more
Bandit
Back when the show first came out and wowed, I was naturally interested in the original source, books typically are suppose to outshine their cinematic adaptation. This one did not and was put down and abandoned. But now, with the show being history and needing a new audio book, it was a why not sort of decision. Turns out I was right to abandon the book, this really might be the only instance where the screen version is infinitely more superior in every possible way to the paper one. The charac ...more
Gina
I love Dexter. So the 5 stars may be a bit biased. If I had to sit and think about the overall story and writing and everything else I'm not sure it would be a 5 star book. I feel like since I know the first season of the show so well I have all this extra story that the book could have used, but at the same time I enjoyed the short and sweet to the point aspect of the book. Overall I really enjoyed reading this and almost finished it in one sitting. I'm very interested to see where the series g ...more
Katy
Aug 17, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: twisted souls
Book Info: Genre: Thriller/Police Procedural
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: twisted people
Trigger Warnings: murder, torture

My Thoughts: This is actually my second read-through of this book. I've been collecting this series since shortly after book three came out. I've also watched the first four seasons of the TV series, but to be honest, I much prefer the direction the books have taken. But I'm ahead of myself here...

So, this book introduces us to Dexter Morgan and his world, where he bala
...more
Carolina Morales
What a surprise it was for me to find these amazing books that gave birth to one of my favourite TV shows. There are many guidance lines one can approach these novels, here I present you some:

1) The mask. Dexter is not an ordinary person. Dexter is a full-time actor; he pretends all the time and is aware that he must subdue his true nature to a lighter version of himself, 24/7. As an incredibly clever person (one collateral effect many psychos have) he knows better than many of us what to do and
...more
Kate
I've enjoyed all the seasons of Dexter on TV so far, and when I went on a trip to Miami I figured, why not try one of the books? They take place in Miami. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the TV show captured everything enjoyable about the book.

For those of you who don't already know Dexter, he is a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. His father, a cop named Harry, rescued Dexter as a child from the scene of a grisly mass murder, and over the course of Dexter's childhood re
...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Darkly Dreaming Dexter By Jeff Lindsay 1 7 Aug 24, 2015 12:07PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay 2 11 May 15, 2015 10:34PM  
A Million More Pages: 1 - Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter): Mar 30 3 8 Mar 30, 2015 12:57PM  
Who out there likes Dexter? 116 435 Nov 16, 2014 02:08AM  
Book or show 62 281 Nov 14, 2014 12:56AM  
Bookworm Buddies: Dexter 36 35 Oct 04, 2014 09:07AM  
better or worse?? 12 76 Mar 18, 2014 04:39AM  
  • Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2)
  • The Psychology of Dexter
  • Dark Origins (Level 26, #1)
  • Clandestine
  • The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted
  • Evil at Heart (Gretchen Lowell #3)
  • Through Violet Eyes (Violet Eyes, #1)
  • I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
  • The Hypnotist (Joona Linna, #1)
  • The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg, #1)
  • The Killer Inside Me
  • Break No Bones (Temperance Brennan, #9)
  • The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers
  • The Death Sculptor (Robert Hunter, #4)
  • Obsession
  • Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)
  • Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4)
  • Monkeewrench (Monkeewrench, #1)
10482
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...

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)
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)

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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?” 249 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.” 235 likes
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