Sunday, November 2, 2008

Review: Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

I got this during Fictionwise's recent big sale, after enjoying the first book in this series. I liked this one too, but it didn't quite have the same magic for me as that first one did. Dexter's 'shtick'---referring to himself in the third person using clever alliterative phrases, constantly referencing his lack of humanity etc.---wore a little thin after the first fifty pages, and there were some pacing issues that detracted a little from an otherwise solid work.

The plot revolves around a former army crony of Sergeant Doakes, who went bad, did time, and is now seeking vengeance on those he feels have wronged him. Dexter is delighted to learn of the Doakes connection, because the good sarge never liked him and has been following him around trying to learn what he's up to. So when he senses an opportunity to get some leverage, he gets himself involved in the case.

The intrepid crime-solving team of Dexter, Deborah et al know almost at once who the criminal is, which detracts from the suspense a little. Deborah's budding relationship with the federal agent brought in to nail this guy is less suspenseful than it should be because, as first person narrator, Dexter does not witness most of it, so for the reader, it happens 'off-screen.' And an interesting side plot involving the girlfriend Rita's children sets up an intriguing future plotline, but is not played out to much effect in this outing.

The book is okay, but certainly okay enough to justify its fairly high cost for an e-book. I'd library this one.

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