After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard--and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice...and his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight.
The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter’s curiosity and Miami’s finest realize they’ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course, is back in business.
My mother called me one night two years ago. "Well," she said. "Now I know you’ve really made it."
"Oh, really?" I said. "What do you mean?"
"I’m watching Jeopardy," she said. "The answer to the last question was, ‘Who is Dexter?’"
A few nights later, my sister called. "You were just on Nancy Grace," she said.
"I was?" I said, very surprised. It didn’t seem like the kind of thing I would forget. "You mean me?"
"No, not you," she snorted, as if I should have known better that someone like me would never be on Nancy Grace. "Dexter. Somebody’s foot washed up on a beach, and she called it a real-life Dexter moment."
And then a few weeks later my agent called. "Did you hear what they named the new robot arm for the space shuttle?" he said.
"Let me guess," I said.
"It’s iconic," my agent said. "That’s a good thing."
And it is. Dexter is iconic. But as my sister was smart enough to pick up on, I am not. I think this is a good thing. I worked in Hollywood for a dozen years, and all I can say about it is that the primitive tribes who think the camera steals your soul were really on to something. So I don’t want to be instantly recognizable--not Tom Cruise famous, not even Stephen King famous.
On the other hand, if Dexter wants fame, that’s fine with me. He deserves it: he’s a fine, upstanding, hardworking guy who is good with kids, thoughtful to co-workers, and helpful around the house. And if he slips away now and then for a little bit of human vivisection--well, nobody’s perfect.
I will admit, though, that lately I’ve begun to suffer what may be the world’s first Edgar Rice Burroughs Complex. Like Burroughs’s Tarzan, my character is known all over the world, and I am still anonymous. That takes some getting used to, even though there are perks. It has given me some wonderful moments--like riding into Times Square in a taxi and seeing Dexter 60 feet tall on the side of the building. "Have you seen that program?" the driver asked me.
"I don’t watch much TV," I said, even though I was staring like a school boy at a peep show.
"There are books, too," he said.
And there are. I hope you will like them. They make wonderful gifts, too. Even better, Nancy Grace and Alex Trebek will never have to see me sweat.--Jeff Lindsay
(Photo © Hilary Hemingway)