The news of the demise of Dexter Morgan has been greatly exaggerated. Eight seasons on television have just culminated in a less than satisfying denouement. It's a good thing that his creator, Jeff Lindsay, is still writing novels featuring the Machiavellian mass murderer.
Ironically, it is a television program that is at the heart of Lindsay's seventh Dexter novel, Dexter's Final Cut. Essentially, a CSI: Miami ripoff is set to film in, well, Miami and the network requires technical advisors. Enter Dexter and sister Deborah, Sergeant at Miami Metro Homicide. Per the orders of Captain Matthews, the Morgans are being shadowed by actors looking to gain some insight for their parts. Dex gets saddled with a good-looking but seemingly vapid actor named Robert Chase, while Deb is followed around by the lovely Jackie Forrest.
This experience is killing (not literally) Dexter as having someone following him around all day tends to put a wrench in the works of his extracurricular activity of killing (literally). Right out of the gate, there is a murder of a young woman found cut and missing an eye, the grisly nature of that wound we will not ruminate over at this time. When a second body turns up soon after, and with the same wounds, it is clear that celebrities aren't the only thing that has come to town.
The two victims are young with blonde hair that closely resembles that of Jackie Forrest. As it turns out, the actress had received several bizarre and increasingly threatening letters from a stalker. Her part in the show would disintegrate if the network got wind of her involvement so she convinces Deborah to watch her during the day and, then, Dexter by night.
Dex finds that being with Jackie stirs up what could be construed as actually feelings inside, something he does not have for his wife Rita, his two stepchildren, or his own biological daughter. The character has been consistent throughout the book series, saying that they are merely the cover to hide the monster in plain sight. He isn't sentimental but selfish. This life of luxury sure beats listening to Rita and daughter Astor argue in their shrill and annoying way. Can he leave his fabricated façade for a torrid Hollywood romance? If only that were the least of his problems as his moonlighting as bodyguard is more complicated than he thinks.
The whodunit isn't that difficult to the reader to decipher due to being intimately familiar with human behavior: their wants and motivations. As Dexter is something other than human, the signs are harder for him to see. However, Lindsay's pace and style keeps pulses and minds racing. You truly feel the anger in Dexter's final pursuit, the sound of drums in your head quickening as he closes in only for you to realize that it's the beating of your own heart. Even as he reaches his prey, an unthinkable twist finds him first.
Dexter's Final Cut is gutsy and bold. It may not be the end (as Lindsay himself isn't confirming) but, certainly, nothing can ever be the same for Dexter Morgan.