Books

Dexter in the Dark

https://ichristaylor.com/2011/dexter-in-the-dark

dexter-in-the-darkIn Dexter in the Dark, Jeff Lindsay teases out what makes Dexter tick – the dark passenger.

From the first two books, we know a little about the dark passenger, but what happens when your dark passenger stops talking to you, goes into hiding and all you can sense is fear? This is what happens to Dexter and he must figure out why?

Oh and Rita’s kids are just like Dexter and he decides that they should learn Harry’s code, but can he really help raise two children in his own image?

I found this book to be slightly disappointing, yet useful for putting the rest of the books into context.

The Sex Club

The Sex Club

The Sex Club by L J SellersWhen a bomb explodes at a birth-control clinic and a young client turns up dead, Detective Jackson is assigned both cases. But are they connected? Kera, the clinic nurse who discovers that the girl’s Bible group is really a sexual free-for-all, thinks they are.
I bought this from the Amazon Kindle store for 71p and was a bit dubious before I read it. I need not have worried as it turned into a really gripping read and to be honest, quite disturbing.

Dexter is Delicious

Dexter is Delicious

Dexter-is-DeliciousDexter is with child. They say the day you become a father changes you and your perception of life. Well can Dexter, the serial killer Jeff Lindsay created, go from homicidal maniac to suburban dad just because he now has his very own daughter?

In ‘Dexter is Delicious’, the character of Dexter takes a strange turn. No longer is Dex out killing bad guys, instead he is playing host to his long lost brother, Brian and wondering why he has suddenly re-entered his life.

This book plays on Dexter’s detective trait and he teams up with his sister to solve the mysterious disappearance of a young woman. Their investigation leads them into the dark world of vampires and cannibals and pits him against one of the most powerful families in Miami. During the investigation Dexter has to ask himself, how do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Dexter by Design

Dexter by Design

dexter-by-designAfter Dexter gets married – yes he married Rita – things are supposed to be different. He has a house, a wife and two kids who he actually likes. But something is wrong, well maybe not wrong, but something is troubling him.

Is it possible for a leopard to change their spots? No it’s not and by the same token, Dexter will always be a killer and someone who strives to right the wrongs that society has not been able to rectify.

In Dexter by Design, Dexter encounters a series of mysterious art pieces which turn out to be heinous murders and as usual he needs to save the day, after all with these nutters on the loose, Dexter is not free to satisfy his own needs.

I enjoyed this book and in it Dexter gets to save his new bride from a horrific death, and in doing so she becomes a killer in her own right. What could that mean? 😉

Dearly Devoted Dexter

https://ichristaylor.com/2011/dearly-devoted-dexter

dearly-devoted-dexterIn this the second in the Dexter series, Jeff Lindsay develops the character of Dexter and shows us how a serial killer can juggle dating a mother of two while allowing himself to satisfy the dark urges that control him.

Dexter has a new enemy, Sergeant Doakes of the Miami Dade PD who knows what Dexter is but cannot prove it. However, rather than focus on that Jeff Lindsay decides to throw in yet another serial killer who is rather good at amputating limbs.  Enter Kyle Chutsky who works for a “higher up authority” and takes over the investigation.

I enjoyed this book and it weaves Dexter’s life nicely between ‘reality’ of Rita and a normal life and the ‘ridiculous’ which is Dexter at night doing what he does best. What Lindsay is able to do here, which is particularly good, is develop Doakes’ character beyond the sinister cop and into someone who is a real threat to Dexter.

By the end of this book you will be developing a sense of who the characters in the series are and what makes them tick.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

https://ichristaylor.com/2011/darkly-dreaming-dexter

Unusually for me I started to read a series of books after watching it on TV first.  Dexter, the TV series shown in the UK on FX and in the USA on Showtime has become a smash hit on both sides of the pond, but for me the TV does not do Dexter justice.

darkly-dreaming-dexterSo who is Dexter?

Jeff Lindsay has created the likeable  character of Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst by day and a serial killer by night. Dexter is motivated by his desire to kill, but carefully manages this need with a set of well prepared rules, mainly that he can only kill those who have committed acts that can be considered morally wrong. It is this code that Dexter’s father helped mould and I believe make Dexter into an unlikely hero.

In Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dexter meets another who is just like him, someone who is able to make murder into a game and someone who is just as talented at evading the watchful eye of the police. This would seem to be the perfect scenario for our dark action hero, but in this instance this ‘colleague’ of Dexter kidnaps his sister and plans to kill Deborah.

Will Dex save the day and who is this mysterious killer? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston

https://ichristaylor.com/2010/a-dangerous-man-by-charlie-huston

In Six Bad Things we saw Hank develop the characteristics required to be a hired gun and judging by the title of this the final part of the Hank Thompson trilogy, Hank really is “A Dangerous Man”.

As Hank says himself:

There are reasons why people do the things they do. You have to have a reason, otherwise you couldn’t do them

This is for you Mom and Dad. This is for you.

So what exactly is Hank doing?
He’s a hitman for a Russian mob boss, quietly going about his business in Las Vegas. His days revolve around a concoction of narcotics, scummy bars and generally making a mess of people. But like the previous novels, Hank gets a change of scenery and in ‘A Dangerous Man’ Hank is sent back to New York, where his troubles start to spiral out of control once more.

Is there a happy ending? Well only you can be judge of that, and to be frank, there can be no follow up books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series and I’d recommend you read them back to back if possible.

A Dangerous Man is available to read (below) and download free on Scribd.com
Visit Charlie Huston’s website or follow him on twitter.

A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston

Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston

https://ichristaylor.com/2010/six-bad-things-by-charlie-huston

Hank’s back in this Charlie Huston’s second novel and it’s time for Hank to come home.

It turns out that the luck I described in my post about “Caught Stealing” was not luck after all. Hank has a talent and that is not just avoiding getting killed, but he has developed into a master manipulator of circumstance and enjoys that rare ability to survive while all those around him are getting themselves killed.

Hank has moved on with his life and is happy living the quiet life in Mexico but that all changes when a backpacker comes to town and befriends hank.

Huston has the uncanny knack of being able to tell stories within stories, which enables sub-plots to develop nicely. In Six Bad Things, Hank learns a valuable life lesson (or two or three!) and makes a life changing decision when he discovers that his love for his parents will change him forever.

Six Bad Things is available to read (below) and download free on Scribd.com
Visit Charlie Huston’s website or follow him on twitter.

Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston

Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston

https://ichristaylor.com/2010/caught-stealing-by-charlie-huston

This was the first Charlie Huston novel I read and I have since read seven more which should indicate how compelling (to me) his books are. Not for the faint hearted, Huston has a brash style that resembles a (good) Tarantino movie. Profanity and violence are frequent players in all of Huston’s work and ‘Caught Stealing’ drops the reader straight into the action and immediately leaves you wanting more.

The book is centred around the character Hank Thompson, who was a promising high school baseball player with a big future in the game, that was until he broke his leg. After that things took a turn for the worse, more from bad judgement and luck than anything else, all of which makes for better reading. Let’s face it, no one wants to read about the guy who almost made it, only to end up working the 9-5 and conforming to societies preset values.

So after Hank agrees to look after his neighbour’s cat, his life spirals into a series of extreme drama and the inevitable twists lead you to like a character that you will initially label as a loser. Without giving too much away, the story revolves around the cat, his ability to escape bad situations and how he ends up making it across the Mexican border with the cat and a bag load of money.

Caught Stealing is available to read (below) and download free on Scribd.com
Visit Charlie Huston’s website or follow him on twitter.
Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston