Check out the novel that started it all

The finale of Dexter New Blood left a bitter taste in my mouth, as I’m sure it did many of yours. I was in a bit of a foul mood until I found something a bit more lighthearted to take my mind off of that tragedy. 

I’m talking, of course, about the book series the show was based on. 

Darkly Dreaming Dexter was the first, published in 2004 by Doubleday. And it was, let me tell you, a lot of fun. 

If you watched the first season, you’ll find that this book follows mostly along with the same story. Mostly, not all the way. But if you’re expecting an exact play-by-play on the page, you’ll be disappointed. There are some dramatic differences, especially as you get closer to the end.

But it starts the same. Dexter, waxing poetic about the moon, seeks out a playmate in the dark. It is the choir director who likes to brutalize and torture little boys. 

Soon the Miami PD starts finding bloodless, frozen body parts. Dexter’s foster sister, Deborah, is rabid to solve this case and get moved from Vice to Homicide. I’m thrilled to tell you that her mouth is just as foul as on the show. Together she and Dexter track down the Ice Truck Killer. 

One thing that is very different in the books is Dexter’s dark passenger. Whereas in the show it’s just a metaphor for his psychotic tendencies, the book has a different perspective. There appears to be something more magical about it. The Dark Passenger seems to be a real creature camping out in Dexter’s brain. Not only that, but it’s not the only one. 

And it can communicate with others. 

The book brings a sense of levity to Dexter that was sadly missing from the show. Dexter is a bit more self-centered, a bit colder. But also, hilarious. 

Dexter isn’t the only difference. Vince has a much larger role, Angel a smaller one. Rita is there, along with Astor and Cody. It’s a lot of fun, seeing these characters we’ve come to know and love, play out a much different story. And I am excited to dig into the rest of the series.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

If you want to read Darkly Dreaming Dexter, you can get it now on Amazon.