My love for the Dexter television series is eclipsed only by my love for the Dexter series of books by Jeff Lindsay, on which the tv series is based. I’m sure most people will agree that (unlike the finale of Breaking Bad) there was something unsatisfying about Dexter tv’s finale. This novel has the same impact.
Dexter’s Final Cut sees anti-hero Dexter Morgan and sister Deborah Morgan consulting with television stars on a CSI-type television show. Though Dexter is saddled with watching the male star, Robert, he is drawn to female star, Jackie, like he’s never been drawn to anyone before, including wife, Rita. When a series of brutal murders are linked to Jackie’s stalker, Dexter does double-duty as Jackie’s body guard. It is there he becomes intoxicated by the Hollywood lifestyle Jackie has to offer.
Much of what drew me into Lindsay’s previous six novels was the cat and mouse play of Dexter and his prey, and his constant struggle keeping a leash on his “dark passenger”, both of which there is little of here. Most of the story focusses on the Dexter-Jackie connection, which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that Dexter’s married. When you read Dexter, you know what you sign on for–a murder mystery narrated by murderer, anti-hero Dexter. This is not that. Dexter kills once, quickly, not according to his modus operandi, which is unsatisfying, to say the least. While there is killing near the climax, none of it is by Dexter’s hand, which is equally unfulfilling. Lindsay’s narrative is on the money most of the time, keeping the ball and some of the suspense rolling, though while the ups are high, the lows are so low they border on the boring. I won’t say this episode of Dexter is enough to turn me off of Lindsay’s series; I just hope that–if there are more instalments–he will return to his original mode of story-telling, that of cat Dexter, playing with his mouse-bad-guy prey, expending any remaining energy on keeping Dexter’s dastardly deeds secret.