This book was a mixed bag for me. I picked it up, read two chapters, gave up. Lather, rinse repeat; for six months.
I think that I had two main problems which initially prevented me from getting into and enjoying Double Dexter.
Firstly, the previous two books in the series had let me down a little. They’d lost something that had been present in the first two and is consistent throughout the TV series. Dark humour? Irreverence? Teeth.
Weirdly-written narratives and histories from the viewpoint of the Dark Passenger just didn’t ring true with the previous books or really interest me. The idea of the Dark passenger as a separate and self-aware entity that can come and go when it takes a wee huff really put me off. If we use Pinocchio as an analogy for Dex becoming more human, then this Dark passenger would be the equivalent of the anti-Jiminy Cricket. Pish
Dex was becoming a little too far-fetched, (good-hearted serial killer, yeah I know), a little too forced with the inclusion also of Dark Passengers for the kids. What next? Some wee granny gets a shite haircut and in a dark fury of failed blue-rinse vengeance develops her own Passenger, going on to hunt poorly-skilled barbers? More pish.
Secondly, the opening chapters were truly awful.
I can’t help but compare the books to the TV show. It’s strange that the TV show writers have managed such character development and good consistent writing, keeping the characters true to themselves but exposing layers each series, forcing constant progression of the characters but not against type. Lindsay fails in this throughout the books and his characters rarely grow or are interesting.
Book-Masouka is a device to move Dex from A to B and in virtual anonymity in the books, as is Book-Batista. This is in stark and shameful contrast to the TV- Masouka who is fantastically twisted and funny and the wonderfully human TV-Angel.
Book-Rita is like some Stepford automaton and far from the ballsy TV Rita, now sadly gone. Book-Deb is a big stereotype in shitkicker boots. All dykey overtures and aggressiveness replacing assertiveness. Mr Lindsay, women can be strong characters without being; 1)Submissive or 2) testosterone transfusions receiving ball-busters.
Perhaps Doakes is his only improvement over TV. TV-Doakes (bloody fantastic) is long gone. Book-Doakes is more malevolent and menacing than ever.
Lindsay did, I’m pleased to say, pick up pace as he got into his stride and rediscovered Dexter’s menace, humour and intensity. It felt like he rediscovered his affection for who Dexter was when first introduced to the world. Essentially Lindsay had stopped giving us preternatural explanations for the Dex’s Passenger and got back to placing Dexter the predator at the heart of a good story.
Whilst I never really felt that Dex was being stretched by his new adversary, I enjoyed seeing Dexter on the hunt, like old times again.
Get past the opening chapters and this book’s a welcome return to form.