Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Here are the discussion questions for this Jeff Lindsay novel featured on BOOKED. Be sure to check out the general Booked club questions posted on our web site.

  1. The main character in this novel is Dexter Morgan and he's a serial killer. The difference between Dexter and other serial killers is that he only kills people who "deserve" to die. Is there such thing as a "good" serial killer and under what circumstances can murder be justified?

  2. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is written in the first person point of view. Dexter is friendly, disarming and a bit self-mocking. Did you like Dexter's "voice"?

  3. Dexter's foster father, Harry Morgan, was a cop who recognized early on his son's homicidal tendencies. Rather than committing Dexter to the mental health system, Harry coaches his adopted son to only kill people who "deserve" to die. The rules are 1) Stay sane 2) Stay focused 3) Be sure and 4) Only kill the bad ones. Did you believe that a father would teach such a message? What did you think of the relationship between Dexter and Harry?

  4. Dexter is torn between his fascination with the copy cat killer's method, stopping the killer before more innocent prostitutes become victims, and helping his sister's stalled police career. Did the author successfully balance these conflicting motivations? Was Dexter clearly defined in this novel?

  5. What did you think about the way the female characters are portrayed in the novel; Dexter's step-sister and career stalled vice cop Deb, the hard-nosed homicide investigator Detective La Guerta and Rita, Dexter's de facto sort of girlfriend?

  6. There is an interesting twist at the end of this novel. The resolution of a climactic scene of the story actually takes place off-camera and the reader doesn't get to see what happens. Is this a satisfying conclusion to the novel? Why did the author choose this kind of ending?

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