JEFF LINDSAY – DEXTER IS DEAD – 2015
The situation at the beginning is
not surprising since it is the sequel of the previous volume where Dexter had
been trapped by himself more than anything in a situation where his wife had
been killed, his actress lover had been killed by the actor he was training for
a series and who was a pedophile attracted by Rita and Dexter’s oldest daughter
precisely and as a matter of fact. And at the last minute the daughter kills
the actor leaving this Dexter with three corpses, a suspicion of pedophilia on
his step daughter and an extremely hostile public opinion and police department
because the actor was an extremely popular figure. First surprise since the
actor was not from Miami
and since there was a case of pedophilia, let me wonder why the FBI did not
So Dexter is in prison from the
very start. From there you will not be deceived by the title. We are going to
move to Dexter’s death, along with the only one who tried to get him out of the
mess, Brian his brother. But this is done so flippantly that the last twenty
pages do not convince a good reader at all.
The volume is in the first person
which means Dexter is telling us his story, not an outside camera that could
capture from outside a whole situation in which Dexter may speak, eventually as
a voice over but always from the outside since the person speaking would be an
actor and not Dexter himself, so that Dexter’s death would be witnessed by the
camera and not told by Dexter himself who anyway, sorry for the repetition is
an actor on the screen. Jeff Lindsay mixed up his genres and he dealt with this
last volume of his saga as if it were a TV film. But it is not.
So when Dexter tells you, though
he has lost his voice, so he is telling us in his own mind what we cannot hear,
tells you anyway what he feels when dying it is absurd since there is no
witness whatsoever who could tell in the third person what is happening, but
not what Dexter would feel. In other words that ending destroys the whole
pretence of the first person. In other words it is no longer Dexter who is
speaking to us but an outsider who is taking over Dexter, who has been
controlling Dexter all along.
Of course Dexter could be talking
to us from beyond his death, hence as a ghost, but Dexter had been very clear
that there were no ghosts, that there was no after life, that even his dark
passenger was nothing but his own mind that was leaning towards that kind of
crime, killing people and enjoying it especially when it is done slowly. A
sadistic nature that is manipulating his social and cultural being.
But there is nothing we can learn
from Dexter any more and all he has said before is questioned if not negated.
So the whole fiction is nothing but fiction precisely and hence illogical. We
understand that the author does not want to get on the other side of death
because he does not believe in it or is in awe in front of it because of his
beliefs, but then he had to imagine another exit that should have been survival
for Dexter and exit from Miami into another land where he would have
disappeared completely, the way the TV series did, thus keeping alive the
illusion that anyway did not really work on TV since TV or cinema are
voyeuristic arts that make you see something through the eye of the camera, the
eye of the cameraman, the eye of the director and maybe a few more like the eye
of the editor. A novel is not voyeuristic. It is telling us a story that has
and contains its own logic.
Jeff Lindsay broke that logic.
What’s more, sloppily! I will here
only take a few details that are particularly irritating because they take us
for fools. When Dexter and Brian capture Ivan to question him, Dexter trusses
him in the back of the car with duct tape that comes from no where at all, trussed
his mouth, arms and legs. And yet Dexter can hear Ivan clicking his teeth with
duct tape tightly stuck over his mouth, and probably generously on both sides.
Then later on he makes Ivan walk from the car with his legs tied up with duct
tape, supported by Dexter for sure but he speaks of Ivan’s stumbling steps. Really!
Or the trussing was not very good.
But there are many other elements
like that. To find out how Dexter knew his lawyer Kraunauer was the snitch
because he finally realizes the meaning of the black SUV he came cross several
times we have to have a good memory or to go back a few chapters to understand
where Dexter saw the first black or at least dark SUV. Dexter never told us
after he realized what was what.
But the worst part has to do with
Brian. A hard criminal or rather highly-experienced professional killer and yet
he makes the simplest possible mistakes that are indispensible for the story to
progress but that are absolutely absurd. Brian would not have survived one year
in Miami with
such naïve mistakes. Though he has more cash than he can use yet he uses a
credit card that can be traced in five minutes with a simple computer plugged
on the cloud.
Even worse, at the end Brian
gives three seconds for the bomb he throws down into the ship to explode and he
counts ONE TWO before throwing it. In other words he kills himself and he could
have killed Dexter. In other words he was not there to clean the plate and get
rid of the drug lord but he was there to destroy himself and his brother, maybe
even Dexter’s step sister and their own four children. That is absolutely
unforgivable. A hard criminal like Brian would have set at least two or three
minutes on the bomb’s timer so that they could have escaped rather easily. But
he did not and he caused his own death and his brother’s. That’s sloppy Mr. Jeff Lindsay.
I don’t think I have to go on but
it is all rather skimpy and sketchy and irrational. Just what we had not been
used to concerning Dexter. Of course such a sloppy ending could be the way
someone gets completely out of their mind because of stress or senility. But
that cannot apply neither to Dexter nor to Brian who have personalities that
make them resistant to any stress. They cannot be the victims of any Post
Traumatic Stress Syndrome of any sort. They are so firm and strong in their
psychotic hyper rational overdeveloped structural scientific and technical infallible
logic that they cannot make mistakes like the ones I have here pointed out. And
there are many more.
Yes “The Stunning End Has Arrived”!
But it is not stunning because Dexter takes us to another escape, another level
of existence, but because an author decides to get rid of Dexter in some
illusionary end that even an average B movie author and actor would not have
been able to think of. And actually they did not think of that in the eponymous
series. In other words it is the last chapter of Stephen Kling’s “The Green
Mile” or “Misery” but written by a Harlequin Romance author. We sure are stunned by such a mediocre
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU