The opening sequence of DOUBLE DEXTER reads as good as any purist noir written. It’s moody, evocative, harrowing, and dark with a sense of foreboding and dread – a calm before the perfect storm. The opening chapter ties in nicely with the Dark Passenger and exemplas all that it embodies. In fact, so good was it, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Cornell Woolrich – it’s that captivating. Yet, this being dutiful Dexter, the darkly dabbling in domestic bliss Dexter of book 6 – that overtly dark natured opening wasn’t going to last – and it didn’t.
The plot is simple enough, though it did feel as though Lindsay changed direction mid stream. While centralised around Dexter and the mysterious and ever allusive Witness to his favourite pastime, DOUBLE DEXTER is also a police procedural – someone is murdering cops in a painful and draw-out manner – crushing every bone until the vic succumbs to death. The investigation led by Dexter’s sister naturally looked set to pull upon their relationship and dabbled into Dexter’s dark side to catch a killer. Stopping short of a full blown manhunt, Lindsay employs a quick-fix to the case only to focus on Dexter assuming the role of a private investigator in search of his Witness or ‘Double’ as touted on the blurb.
DOUBLE DEXTER provides a further glimpse into life as a serial killer and that of a devoted husband and loving father. Dexter is in disguise for a large portion of the novel – only once or twice relishing in his darker persona. The interactions with series regulars do little to further the plot or overarching series for that matter, as DOUBLE DEXTER is more about what is going on inside Dexter’s head than those actions around him. The cat and mouse routine, while enjoyable and easy to read conforms to the common formula for such escapades with nothing really earth shattering happening or implications for further series instalments.
Dexter is a very strong and well defined character and that portrayal continues in DOUBLE DEXTER. Fans of the series will enjoy this, while those new will want to give it a miss. 3 stars – a good thriller which had a fantastic start only to follow a well defined script.