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Dexter by Design (Dexter #4)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  18,781 Ratings  ·  1,025 Reviews
The “Dexter” series—bestselling books, acclaimed TV show, worldwide phenomenon—continues with Dexter’s deadliest case yet.
 
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 ha
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ebook, 306 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published January 1st 2008)
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Tabitha Finlinson Other than book #1, I don't think the books are similar to the TV series in any way.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Edward Lorn
Mar 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it liked it  ·  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
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Eileen
Feb 23, 2009 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 06, 2011 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free, horror, mystery
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.
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
Kiri
May 01, 2011 Kiri rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike
Nov 15, 2009 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2009 Marvin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Rubi
The best of the series till now! Amazing plot.
You are simply great, Dexter.

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
paula
Dec 17, 2009 paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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Jack
Sep 19, 2009 Jack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ladiibbug
Oct 05, 2008 Ladiibbug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#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,
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R-Cee*Jay
I sure do wish that Dexter wasn't so mumbly-stumbly, even though it is all part of his façade...
Katy
Jun 03, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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.
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Kai VanderBerg
finally finished another book! only took me forever. trying to kill this slump.

overall, I enjoy the dexter novels. this one wasn't amazing, but it wasn't terrible. prolly gonna start the 5th one soon.

still a little turned off by this weird supernatural thing that may or may not actually exist, but it's a lot less prevalent in this one than the last. so at least there's that.
Eyehavenofilter
Oct 12, 2015 Eyehavenofilter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stabby-stabby
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
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Mark
Oct 03, 2009 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Austin Vines
Aug 28, 2008 Austin Vines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Siobhan
Oct 11, 2014 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Majo's Library.
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
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Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Jul 22, 2008 Cindi (cheesygiraffe) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
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...
Sera
For a serial killer, Dexter can be a funny guy.

Overall, this book presents a nice next step in the series. However, I really didn't care for the underlying case that the police were trying to solve in this one. What saved this book is the deeper insight and context that it provides to Dexter's immediate family, which is starting to play a larger role in the overall story.

I intend to keep reading this series as it is unique for the genre.
Asghar Abbas

I honestly can't remember anything about it. Did it involve Paris, Louvre, and a baby? Maybe.

I think this marked the decline in the writing quality and utter loss of interest on Lindsay's part.

Shame.
Shame.
Giovanni Gelati
Mar 26, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelley
Oct 25, 2013 Kelley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dexter, 2015
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
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 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)
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Jocelyn M
Jan 24, 2017 Jocelyn M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following up "Dexter in the Dark", "Dexter by Design" was far better but still lackluster compared to the first two books. The book focuses on Dexter's family development and starts with their honeymoon in Paris. I feel that that could have been explored more in depth, because it only lasts for ~chapters 1-2. Dexter returns to find a new serial killer, Weiss, tearing up Miami. There is a festive but gruesome theme to these kills, and no one is safe.

It was a different taste from the first three b
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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
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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
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  • Clandestine
  • Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Relentless
  • Tishomingo Blues
  • Drood
  • Deep as the Marrow
  • 2 in the Hat
  • Dead Run (Monkeewrench, #3)
  • Every Last Drop (Joe Pitt, #4)
  • Factoring Humanity
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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
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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)

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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?” 45 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.” 32 likes
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