Dexter in the Dark
Dexter in the Dark is a 2007
2007 in literature
The year 2007 in literature involves some significant new books.-Events:*November 19 - First Kindle e-book reader released.*December 11 - Terry Pratchett informs fans on-line that he has been diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease.-Literature:...

 novel written 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...

. This is the third book in the Dexter series, preceded by the 2004
2004 in literature
The year 2004 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Canada Reads selects Guy Vanderhaeghe's The Last Crossing to be read across the nation....

 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a 2004 novel by Jeff Lindsay, the first in his series about serial killer Dexter Morgan. It has formed the basis of the Showtime television series Dexter and won the 2005 Dilys Award and the 2007 'Book to TV' award....

—which formed the basis of the Showtime television series Dexter
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...

—and Dearly Devoted Dexter
Dearly Devoted Dexter
Dearly Devoted Dexter is a crime/horror novel by Jeff Lindsay, the second in his series about psychopathic vigilante Dexter Morgan, which has been adapted into a television series.-Plot:...

, its 2005
2005 in literature
The year 2005 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*February 25 - Canada Reads selects Rockbound by Frank Parker Day as the novel to be read across the nation....


Dexter in the Dark was released September 18, 2007, in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (ISBN 0-38-551833-1) and October 3, 2007, in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (ISBN 0-75-288509-X). The book was originally scheduled to be released earlier in the year.

The Season 1 DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 of the television series allows access to the first two chapters of Dexter in the Dark when viewed on a computer.


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...

 is a serial killer
Serial killer
A serial killer, as typically defined, is an individual who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month, with down time between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification...

 trained by his adopted father, a police detective, to channel his murderous urges through vigilantism, only killing other killers. The source of Dexter's blood lust and investigative prowess is a voice in his mind that he calls the "Dark Passenger".

At the start of the novel, Dexter, a forensic blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, investigates a double homicide at the University of Miami
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private, non-sectarian university founded in 1925 with its main campus in Coral Gables, Florida, a medical campus in Miami city proper at Civic Center, and an oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key., the university currently enrolls 15,629 students in 12...

 campus. Two female students are found burned and beheaded. Their heads are replaced by the ceramic heads of bulls. Something about this murder uncharacteristically frightens the Dark Passenger into silence, leaving Dexter to solve the crime on his own. As a series of similar murders takes place, members of a mysterious cult
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices...

 begin stalking
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group to another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person and/or monitoring them via the internet...

 Dexter, believing his Dark Passenger to be a threat to them.

Dexter soon begins to question the dark voice that has been with him all his life, as he slowly realizes that his Dark Passenger is a true entity unto itself, possibly an offspring of the ancient god Moloch
Moloch — also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, or Moloc — is the name of an ancient Semitic god...

. While attempting to dispatch a killer who had been stalking him, Dexter becomes frightened and is unable to go through with the deed. He soon realizes that the Dark Passenger had given him an unusual amount of confidence and an almost supernatural awareness of the world around him; now that it is gone, he feels vulnerable for the first time in his life.

As the novel progresses, Dexter begins to develop emotions that were once suppressed by the Dark Passenger, mainly those of sadness and anger. While missing the helpful clues and hints of the Dark Passenger, Dexter feeds off of his newfound emotions to find some balance in his life and to solve the mystery unfolding around him.

The story also concerns the training of Cody and Astor Bennett, Dexter's soon-to-be stepchildren. Traumatized
Psychological trauma
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event...

 by their abusive
Child abuse
Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Children And Families define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or...

 father, they have developed homicidal tendencies similar to Dexter's. Dexter intends to teach them the "Code of Harry", which his own adoptive father used to help him hide his dark nature and blend in with normal people. Cody and Astor are eager to learn, but Dexter informs them that they are not ready yet, and still have years of training left before they are able to inflict any real human suffering.

The novel concludes as the Cult of Moloch kidnaps Astor and Cody, thereby forcing Dexter to engage them head-on. However, the cult soon captures Dexter through a supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 captivation of music. Though confined in a small concrete storage closet, Dexter escapes and encounters an old man who is the current avatar
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

 of Moloch. Though Dexter is instantly humbled and frightened of Moloch, he continuously mocks the malignant spirit, which in turn entrances him and the children and orders them to be sacrificed
Human sacrifice
Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings as part of a religious ritual . Its typology closely parallels the various practices of ritual slaughter of animals and of religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice has been practised in various cultures throughout history...

 in a flaming pit. Dexter remains in a trance until his pant leg catches on fire; the pain of the burns snaps him out of it, and he opens fire on the cult members. A final showdown pits an armed Dexter against Moloch, who is clutching Astor and threatening to kill her. In a stalemate, Dexter is hesitant to act until Moloch reaches for his ceremonial knife only to find it missing; and then shudders to a halt and falls over with the knife lodged squarely in his back. Cody stands behind him holding Moloch's knife, saying, "I told you I was ready."

Dexter laments that having killed at such an early age, Cody's journey will now be more difficult. Weeks pass, and Dexter is left alone to accept life without his Dark Passenger. At his wedding, Dexter falls into a fit of despair as he thinks about how painful his life is going to be in its banality. Just then, the Passenger comes back to him, brought on by Dexter's immense suffering, and he is made whole again in the final paragraphs of the novel.

This is the first of 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...

's "Dexter" series not narrated exclusively in the first-person point of view
First-person narrative
First-person point of view is a narrative mode where a story is narrated by one character at a time, speaking for and about themselves. First-person narrative may be singular, plural or multiple as well as being an authoritative, reliable or deceptive "voice" and represents point of view in the...

. Along with Dexter's first-person narration, the novel also includes third person narration from two other points of view. One is a person called the Watcher, a member of the cult that follows and observes Dexter. The other is a mythical, godlike entity called "IT" (revealed to be Moloch) which has existed since the beginning of time and is similar in various ways to the Dark Passenger. IT takes great pleasure in entering creatures as a "passenger" and making them kill other creatures, and works to create other murderous entities similar to itself, but soon turns against many of them, causing them to flee. IT and its offspring go to war, with IT being victorious. Some of IT's remaining children stay in hiding, fearing IT's power.
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