Dearly Devoted Dexter
Dearly Devoted Dexter is a crime/horror novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 by Jeff Lindsay
Jeff Lindsay (writer)
Jeff Lindsay is the pen name of American playwright and crime novelist Jeffry P. Freundlich , best known for his novels about sociopathic vigilante Dexter Morgan. Many of his earlier published works include his wife Hilary Hemingway as a co-author. His wife is the niece of Ernest Hemingway and an...

, the second in his series about psychopathic vigilante Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan is a fictional character in a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay, including Darkly Dreaming Dexter , Dearly Devoted Dexter , Dexter in the Dark , Dexter by Design , Dexter is Delicious and Double Dexter...

, which has been adapted into a television series
Dexter (TV series)
Dexter is an American television drama series, which debuted on Showtime on October 1, 2006. The sixth season premiered on October 2, 2011. The series centers on Dexter Morgan , a bloodstain pattern analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department who moonlights as a serial killer...



A shadowy figure from Sgt. Doakes' past arrives in Miami, and begins preying on former U.S. Army operatives Doakes served with during the Salvadoran Civil War. The killer possesses a unique method of torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 that has earned him the nickname "Dr. Danco": He kidnaps each victim, pumps them full of sedative
A sedative or tranquilizer is a substance that induces sedation by reducing irritability or excitement....

s, and, over a period of several days, steadily removes their limbs, genitalia and facial features, before leaving them to contemplate their hideous mutilation in front of a carefully placed mirror.

Meanwhile, Dexter, having been forced to suppress his own psychopathic urges by the machinations of an increasingly suspicious Doakes, welcomes the distraction and begins to focus on hunting down a possible child killer. However, he finds himself drawn into the case of the mysterious Dr. Danco when his sister Deborah
Debra Morgan
Debra Morgan is a fictional character created by Jeff Lindsay for his Dexter book series. She also appears in the television series, based on Lindsay's books, portrayed by Jennifer Carpenter. In Lindsay's novels, she first appeared in Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and has featured in every novel...

's new boyfriend, detective Kyle Chutsky, turns out to be on the torturer's hit list.

Amidst all the chaos, Dexter finds himself accidentally engaged to his girlfriend Rita, and begins to suspect Rita's children Astor and Cody of having sociopathic tendencies of their own.

At the conclusion of the story, Dexter learns that Dr. Danco murders his victims by making them play a word game resembling hang man. Each victim is asked to guess a word chosen for them by Danco, each wrong answer resulting in the amputation of a body part. This is simply an additional cruelty, however, as Danco usually has cut out the tongue of the victim, making it impossible for their speech to be understood. The victim is also forced to witness his own dismemberment in a mirror hung above his "operating table."
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