Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter Is Delicious
Jeff Lindsay
Doubleday, 2010
U.S. hardcover, first edition
ISBN 978-0-385-53235-8
368 pages; $25.95

I suggested in my review of Dexter by Design that this series seemed to be played out – a result, perhaps, of an unsustainable character (a serial killer who only kills bad guys) or of the huge success on a premium cable channel of a television series based on the books. Given that opinion then, I don’t know why I bothered to pick up Dexter Is Delicious. This book only confirms that author Lindsay needs to find something different to write about, because Dexter is no longer funny, interesting or even particularly horrifying.

The plot is as outlandish as it has been in the last two books. There are cannibals loose in Miami who are kidnapping young women and making dinner out of them. More than that, they are apparently finding willing victims: women whose only sexual fantasy has been to be roasted and eaten. While I’m willing to grant that the limits of human depravity and mental illness are far beyond anything I might consider normal, and notwithstanding Robinson Jeffers’s lovely poem Vulture, I found this way too much to be believable. I may read a lot of horror and fantasy, but there are limits that surpass even my power to suspend disbelief. A desire to be spitted, hung over a fire, and cut away a bit at a time? Really? Does such a psychological illness actually exist? And could two young women in the same community share this illness?

Unable to stomach the premise (pun intended), I found the rest of the book pretty hard to take. Dexter is dragged around Miami by his sister, who commandeers him to accompany her on her investigative rounds. It’s hard to believe that the Miami police department would countenance Deb’s refusal to work with her partner, or her monopolization of a blood splatter specialist who ought to be in the laboratory, not illegally entering the lair of a suspect. It’s even harder to believe that Deb has some of the hard breaks she has in this book, or reaches the conclusions about criminals that she does. And it’s impossible to believe that police officers could be as stupid as Deb and her brother are in this book’s denouement.

I almost never put down a book I’ve started without finishing it – even bad books. That can be a serious problem when one is confronted with books like Dexter Is Delicious. I suppose I kept thinking it would get better, or that I’d learn more about Dexter’s adopted children and their tendency toward the darkness Dexter inhabits. Alas, it was not to be: I will never get those hours of my life back to spend reading better books. I suggest you avoid making the same mistake.

A Shame

I thought the first two books were refreshing and original but I have been disappointed since. Thank you for taking the hit and reading this one so I don't have to. I think the desperate quest for novelty is showing in this "cannibal" fantasy. Somehow I doubt that it's in the DSM IV.

I hope you are feeling better. We missed you yesterday!


True story

The premise may have been inspired by this actual case:
German cannibal tells of fantasy


Thanks for the info on that case. What a brave new world, that has such people in it? Not quite what Shakespeare was talking about, I know, but that's what immediately sprang to mind.

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