Miami has a new serial killer, one whose technique quickens the pulse of Dexter's Dark Passenger, and who has a connection with Dexter';s nemesis, Sergeant Doakes. Despite this, Doakes' attention is falling heavier on Dexter and, to deflect suspicion, he not only has to delay gratifying his Dark Passenger but also increase his intimacy with girlfriend Rita. This has the unexpected result of them getting engaged, a prospect neither reassuring nor attractive to Dexter. When Dexter discovers that Rita's son Cody and he may have more in common that he thought, though, Dexter sees an advantage beyond that of protective colouring - he can help Cody the way his foster-father helped him.
This sequel to Darkly Dreaming Dexter retains the humorous, sardonic voice of Dexter, who manages to combine a realistic outlook with a dry self-pity and interesting insights into the way people operate when seen from without - after the car he's in, alongside his cop sister, turns upside down and sinks in a lake, Dexter surfaces and truly appreciates air. It takes him a moment to think of Deborah: "A real human being might have thought of his drowning sister much sooner, but really, let's be fair, one can only expect so much from an imitation after what I had been through. And I did actually think of her now, possibly still in time to do something meaningful. But although I was not really reluctant to rush to the rescue, I couldn't help thinking that we were asking a bit much of Dutifully Dashing Dexter this evening, weren't we?"
In Dearly Devoted Dexter we also get to see more of Deborah, who unexpectedly falls in love, and learn a little more about how Dexter's mind works. It's a little disconcerting to find oneself barracking for the psychopath but Lindsay manages to create a hero who is unquestionably sociopathic and inhuman yet still somehow sympathetic. Some of this is due to his personal code, but most of it has to do with Dexter's voice. I'm going straight on to the sequel! - Alex