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Dexter By Design

(Dexter #4)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  24,436 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews
The macabre, witty New York Times bestselling series (and inspiration for the #1 Showtime series, Dexter) continues as our darkly lovable killer matches wits with a sadistic artiste--who is creating bizarre murder tableaux of his own all over Miami.
After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Orion (first published 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.…moreOther than book #1, I don't think the books are similar to the TV series in any way.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  24,436 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews

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(B+) 77% | Good
Notes: Its villain's a comic book eccentric gone mad: committing colorful crimes with hardly more than a vengeance motive.
Edward Lorn
Mar 10, 2015 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
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Doakes is back! And Chutsky! Even a couple new speed bumps in Dexter's road.

Still liking the series and Dexter's increasingly complicated quandary of human performance, but this one had a lot more rabbit runs, going up, down, all around, but without Dark Passenger for company. I miss that interplay. So, this seemed slower even though Dex was all over the map, literally.

On the other hand, I love the aesthetics of this one. The spectacle shows dedication to detail, which I appreciate. The commen
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What’s the point of art if nobody sees it?
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)


Ok so we are gonna ignore the supernatural part of book 3 because ew and we are gonna move on. Also is this review going to be Velvet Buzzsaw gifs? Maybe.

my link text
So pissed this is a fake link. If only it was a link to Never Gonna Give You Up.

‘’Dexter feels plenty; Dexter feels tired, and bored.’’
Bruh mood.

‘’-…it was the Mona Lisa.
-It’s so tiny.
-And very overrated.’’

Rita same, I love you.

‘’You never get in a
Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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.
Nov 15, 2009 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
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
Thomas Strömquist
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Book 4 in the Dexter series is a return to familiar territory. The 180 that was the revelation of ‘The Dark Passenger’ as a very real, albeit supernatural, being is largely ignored in this book. I had less trouble with that storyline than I would have thought, but I was not sad to see it dropped. Unfortunately, the renewal has not been replaced with anything, but instead we are treated to a Dexter story that is mostly going through the motions. At about half the book, I thought it would be quite ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent piece in the Dexter series. Back on track with the more mundane parts rather than the demonic side the last book ventured off into. The narrator did an excellent job giving voice to all of the characters.
The best of the series till now! Amazing plot.
You are simply great, Dexter.

Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
i had a bit of a hard time rating this book because i have a lot of Thoughts about it. let me explain...

so this book was a bit slower than the others, in my opinion. the plot was still very interesting and i enjoyed it overall, but it was slow at times. dexter’s inner monologue was fun to read, as always. and the progression of the book did leave me wanting more (i was constantly wondering what was going to happen next and was excited to read more).

there were some plot holes that confused me, bu
This one was like that season of Weeds where things took a hard left from believability into the realm of ridiculous. Still enjoyable but lots of eye rolling.
May 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2009 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
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I sure do wish that Dexter wasn't so mumbly-stumbly, even though it is all part of his façade... ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I've just finished to read this book after a break from the Dexter's book.
First of all, I need to say that I have already seen the TV series and actually LOVED it really much, so I was curious about the books where it all comes from.
I was happy to discover that, excluding the first book, the plots in books are completely different from the ones of each season of the TV series, because for me was like "yey, more stories on my favorite serial killer". I was happy after the first, second and third
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Well, we are back on track. Killer verses killer and even Debra is getting on board. That said, this was just ok. But I want to know what happens next.
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
Dec 17, 2009 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.
Mur Lafferty
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, 2011-books
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
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
#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,
Oct 11, 2014 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
Laura (crofteereader)
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'll admit that I skipped book 3 in this series because my library didn't have the audiobook for it, but I assumed (and was correct) that this is the kind of series where you don't really need to strictly read the books in order.

So, compared to books one and two (which I did read), this one was considerably weaker. We didn't have the great ensemble cast of Deborah and Dokes and Vince and Rita that I'd gotten used to. Instead, it was more of Dexter floundering about and wondering why he wasn't th
Helen Power
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Dexter by Design, but not as much as the previous books in this series. The killer wasn't as dynamic, and the staged deaths were a little bit too much. That said, my favourite part was the overly-done art exhibit that Dexter went to in France, which was in just the first chapter. That was deliciously dark and disturbing (to take a page out of Dexter's alliteration book!).

One thing that really irritated me, and made me bump the rating down one whole star, was Dexter's incessant need to

I found this book to not be as suspenseful as Jeff Lindsay's previous Dexter books. I felt Dexter's stepchildren, Cody and Astor, were introduced more to the readership. This placed Dexter in second place in the story. His wife, Rita, filled in as a cookie-cutter character. No real depth to her. The plot was relatively easy to solve. The matter was just catching the villain, who was committing the crimes and threatening to expose a character's night-time activities. I still enjoyed the novel and ...more
Brittney Gibbon
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Dexter is what Dexter must be, always and evermore, world without end…”

Dexter Morgan is baaaaaack 🙌 After the slow, meandering, not-much-happening pace of Dexter in the Dark I was really hoping that Lindsay would do better with this one and he did not disappoint!

Dexter by Design opens in Paris. Dexter is on his honeymoon and bored out of his mind. Within two pages I already loved this book for that observation alone; Paris is overrated and I’m glad at least SOMEONE finally agrees with me 😂

Emily Daley
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best of the four I’ve read so far, but the main problem with Jeff Lindsay’s writing is the climax of the novel was placed about 10 pages from the end, leaving little time for falling action or a resolution. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it’s ending.
Jun 03, 2011 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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Already available in the UK and Australia! 1 35 Apr 14, 2009 11:10PM  
Now available for pre-order 5 69 Mar 21, 2009 07:55PM  

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Jeff Lindsay lives in 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. Several of his earlier published works include his wife as a co-author.

Jeff graduated from Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1975, and Celebration Mime Theatre's Clown School the same year. He received a doub

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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