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Digging into the second Dexter Novel

After reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and then being betrayed on a personal level by the ending of Dexter New Blood, I was excited beyond words to find out that there was a whole series of Dexter novels. And so I jumped into book two, Dearly Devoted Dexter, with great expectations.

I was not disappointed.

Dearly Devoted Dexter was published in 2005 by Doubleday, coming just a year after the first. There is nothing, or at least very little in this book that resembles season two of the show. The only real thing they have in common is that our anti-hero Dexter is being tailed by his nemesis, Sargent Doakes.

Doakes is tailing him night and day, keeping Dexter from finding playmates to enjoy the moonlight with. And so, to keep under his radar, Dexter starts spending more and more time with Rita, Cody, and Astor. He develops a taste for light beer and playing kick the can with the kids.

Meanwhile, another killer arrives on the Miami scene. He has a taste not for light beer, but for creating horrific inhuman flesh sacks out of his victims. The description of these poor creatures is exquisitely gruesome. This killer takes off body parts, one by one, leaving the victim alive. Dexter at first mistakes the horrific sounds one victim is making for a screaming dog. 

Distracted by playing house, Dexter isn’t interested in this case until Deb’s boyfriend is abducted. He soon puts together that the killer and boyfriend were both part of a black ops team in South America. If you guessed that Doakes was also in that black ops team, you are right on the money. Soon, Doakes is abducted as well.

This book was equal parts fascinating and amusing. I love Dexter’s internal voice. I also love that he’s a lot more selfish than he ever wants in the books. Left to his own devices, he would do his job as a blood splatter analyst, eat wonderful Cuban sandwiches, and find playmates to dice up under the cover of darkness. But Deb isn’t about to let that happen. And, after accidentally leaving a diamond ring in his pocket, Rita isn’t going to let that happen either.

I’ve never seen an accidental proposal before. But now that I have, I approve. 

If you haven’t read Dearly Devoted Dexter, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s bloody, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to kill a cozy evening at home.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

If you want to read Dearly Devoted Dexter, you can get a copy now on Amazon.

Book Reviews

A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

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The Plot

“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?”  — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.

The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.

Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.

The Verdict

This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.

It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Book Reviews

Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel

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“That doesn’t invalidate it,” Angel said. “There’s no statute of limitations on pain.”

The Plot

Angel is a man who knows pain: physical, mental, sexual. The story begins with Angel visiting Room 6 at the Lonely Motel and ordering a plus-size sex worker to his room. What comes next is Angel’s retellings of painful stories while performing sexual acts on the sex worker, Shyla.

The novel reads as a book of short stories, as Angel relays stories to Shyla and she tells him stories back. This is a novel of pain and disgust. Angel’s stories are so dark and traumatic that Shyla can’t believe they are true. As Angel bares his soul, we see a side of him that is melancholy and unable to process hurt in a natural way.

The Verdict

This novel is full of disgusting visuals and isn’t afraid to get dirty. This truly is an extreme horror novel. As a warning, there is discussion of feces, blood, rape, sex, and body horror. This novel is not for the faint of heart. You’ll close this short novel feeling dirty. Angel is a character that begs for sympathy while his stories narrate that he may not be as innocent as he perceives.

When the subtitle says this novel is extreme horror, believe it. Only the strong will survive Duncan Ralston’s Woom. It is more splatterpunk than anything, but true literary quality lies beneath the filth.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Read it yourself by clicking below!

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Book Reviews

Did She Do It? Stacy Willingham’s “All the Dangerous Things” Asks Us Just This

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One year ago, Isabelle’s life crumbled when her baby was abducted from her home. Her marriage to her husband, Ben, is destroyed as they try to navigate the fallout.

The Plot

Even one year after the abduction, Isabelle seeks answers. She is still doing appearances at true crime expos to get information on the attendees, thinking the abductor will be there one day. Abductors usually revisit their crime and Isabelle swaps her appearances for the event guest list, never taking any money for her talks.

Some think that Isabelle killed her own baby as evidence from the case says the perpetrator came from inside the house. Isabelle hasn’t slept – not fully – since Mason was abducted. Her therapist is worried that she may be having hallucinations. Is Isabelle the killer or is she on a quest for true justice?

The Verdict

I absolutely loved the complication of not knowing whether Isabelle was a reliable or unreliable narrator. This was my favorite aspect of the novel. It made me question everything that Isabelle had to say and the actions she executed.

Isabelle is a character that, as a mother, I really felt for. I wanted to believe that Isabelle was innocent, but I was hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to find out. Stacy Willingham is the master of a story that winds all around, waiting for you to find the truth.

If you are interested in reading Willingham’s first novel, A Flicker in the Dark, check out my review here.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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