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Dexter by Design

(Dexter #4)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  20,497 ratings  ·  1,106 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, 1st Edition, 285 pages
Published August 28th 2009 by Doubleday Books (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.

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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,497 ratings  ·  1,106 reviews

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(B+) 77% | Good
Notes: Villain is a comic book eccentric gone mad: committing colorful crimes without much 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
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
Feb 23, 2009 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
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free, mystery, horror
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.
Oliviu Craznic
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
De data aceasta, Dexter se confruntă cu un pasionat al artei transgresive, care „creează” folosind cadavre; iar Doakes, în ciuda stării sale deplorabile, este în continuare pe urmele (anti)eroului nostru.
Volumul este mai slab decât cele anterioare, având destul de multe pagini plictisitoare; în plus, avem parte, din nou, de reacții neverosimile sau ataraxice din partea personajelor (abia acum sora lui Dexter își pune unele întrebări cu privire la moralitatea activităților acestuia, iar faptul că
Thomas Strömquist
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
Nov 15, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
The best of the series till now! Amazing plot.
You are simply great, Dexter.

May 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, reviewed
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
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.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nbtr
Second time in a row, Dexter battles with an enemy whose he just can't seem to catch and is almost behind the bad guy in the chase. Deborah poor Deborah was out of commision most of the book and it was fun reading about Dexter's frustrations in face of a challenge by a mad man who is threatening to expose Dexter and also posing as a danger to him and his loved ones. This was certainly better than the last book but let's see what do we get in the next book. Like I have mentioned many a times now ...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
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
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2008 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,
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
I sure do wish that Dexter wasn't so mumbly-stumbly, even though it is all part of his façade...
Helen Power
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

Сибин Майналовски
Младежът задобрява :) Имам предвид писателя, не Декс - той няма накъде да задобрява, той вече е най-великият!!! :)
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.
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.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"First things first has always been my motto, mostly because it makes absolutely no sense - after all, if first things were second, they wouldn't be first things, would they? Still, cliches exist to comfort the feeble minded, not to provide any actual meaning (Ch20)."


Dear, dour Dexter is back after his daring, demented escapade in book three. While his fourth book does not have a strong plot, Dexter is still Dexter, and Lindsay's prose is still excellent. People who didn't like the prev
Kai Van
Apr 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
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.
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 chuckling 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 inconsist
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
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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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 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)
“Why bother inflicting enormous pain on yourself when sooner or later Life would certainly get around to doing it for you?” 46 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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