A white screen, the sound of a chainsaw whining against resistance, and the wet drips of blood splattering red…I see, ”Dexter. A Killer New Series.” Ooooohhhh! How intriguing! And how annoying! This original U.S. Showtime TV series about a charming serial killer, staring Michael C. Hall (of Six Feet Under fame), is being launched in Canada on The Movie Network. Problem: I don’t get that channel! Gah! What to do? While exploring the possibility of ditching my cable provider to get 1 new show, I discover that the series is based on novels by Jeff Lindsay. Ah ha! Problem solved, I’ll just go to the source.
The first in the literary series, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, is an engaging first-person account of a sociopath with a code of conduct (only kill bad people…hmmm, makes sense…) working in Miami as a squeamish forensic blood analyst who likes to cut his deserving victims into small, neat pieces. Equally humorous and gory, Dexter’s description of his hometown hunting ground sets the tone, “If a piebald dwarf with advanced leprosy wants to have sex with a kangaroo and a teenage choir, he’ll find his way here and get a room.” CSI Miami this ain’t!
I have to confess, I’m a serial killer novel junkie and I’ve spent much delinquent spare time devouring both fiction and non-fiction books on the topic. Lindsay intrigued me with his slant on the old nature vs. nurture debate explored from the POV of the killer himself. An esteemed writer/editor friend grumbled about thin characterization, but really, how deep can a first person account from a sociopath be and still ring true?! But you can make up your own mind.
And if you’re lucky enough to get Showtime or Movie Network (or whatever other channel I can’t get with my lousy cable package) that Dexter is on, feel free to let me know how the TV series stacks up!