Darkly Dreaming Dexter

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 March, 2008, 12:00am

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

by Jeff Lindsay

Orion, HK$115

Beware. There is a terrifying new sub-genre in town and it's already sharpening its Sabatier knives. First, there was Serial Killer - a scary man who kills lots of people for some arcane reason (Psycho). Then there was Serial Killer - a scary man who kills lots of people for no reason (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Then there was the Serial Killer - a scary, charming, brilliant man who kills lots of people with a knife in one hand and Blake's poems in the other (Red Dragon). Now, thanks in no small part to Jeff Lindsay's Dexter novels, there is Serial Killer - a not especially scary man who kills lots of people, but often for a good cause. Kevin Costner was unusually excellent playing just such a mass murderer in the recent Mr Brookes, but the genre proper began with Dexter Morgan. Now the star of an acclaimed TV series, Dexter is a seemingly normal forensics officer for the Miami Police Department. He has a career, a girlfriend (the shy but damaged Rita) and stepchildren who adore him. On the side, however, Dexter murders people - bad people - for kicks, for example, a paedophile priest so appalling 'I should have killed him twice'. Then he discovers another serial killer is on the loose and this one has no moral scruples. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is witty, warped and wonderfully dark.