This is a seriously disturbing book. I’ve read a few “killer as the protagonist” books in the past (Lawrence Block’s Keller series, for example), but never one that was quite as disturbing as Darkly Dreaming Dexter. This is the first in a series, but I think I’ll give the rest of the series a miss.
Dexter is a murderous sociopath. He is adopted from an undefined “terrible situation” and raised by a police officer who, recognizing what he is, encourages him to take out his impulses on those who deserve it, and to be careful. Dexter takes this advice to heart, even though he’d really prefer to kill just about everybody (except children, he is extremely protective of children). When another murderous sociopath comes to town he finds himself torn between his duty to find him and his overwhelming desire to join him.
A lot of this book takes place in Dexter’s head – a place I’d rather not be.