Our Ultimate Guide to the Dexter Books in Order

Published: 9 July 2023
Written by Chris Beach

Welcome, fellow thriller enthusiasts, to another riveting discussion about our beloved serial killer, Dexter Morgan. Today, we're diving into the dark and captivating world of the Dexter series, penned by the bestselling author Jeff Lindsay. We'll be exploring the Dexter books in order, providing you with a roadmap to navigate the twisted mind of this unique protagonist.

Portrait of Dexter from the novels

Table of Contents

• Dexter Dissected: The Order of the Dexter Novels
• A Clean Cut: Ending Our Journey Through the Dexter Books

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Was Dexter Turned into a TV Series?
  • Who is Jeff Lindsay? His Biography

• Related Posts
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Dexter Morgan isn't your typical villain. He's an ethical serial killer, if there ever was such a thing, who only targets those who truly deserve his special brand of justice. By day, he's a blood spatter technician for the Miami Dade Police Department, a role that perfectly complements his nocturnal activities. So, buckle up and prepare to embark on a journey through the shadowy streets of Miami, as we delve into the intricate web woven by Jeff Lindsay in the Dexter series.

Dexter Dissected: The Order of the Dexter Novels

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004)

Book cover of Darkly Dreaming Dexter
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Dive into the paradoxical world of Dexter, a charming yet chilling character who, despite his aversion to blood, is a serial killer with a moral compass - he only targets those who have committed heinous acts. Dexter Morgan is not your typical hero; his murderous tendencies might be a bit unsettling, yet his wit and playful demeanor make him oddly endearing. He's a supportive brother to his sister, Deb, a Miami police officer, and his good looks don't go unnoticed, though he remains indifferent to the female attention. Dexter's day job as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police department, despite his blood phobia, provides him with the perfect cover and a steady stream of potential victims.

However, Dexter's meticulously structured life takes an unexpected turn when another serial killer, whose methods eerily mirror his own, emerges in Miami. This new player on Dexter's home turf intrigues him, and he can't shake off the feeling that this isn't just a case of imitation, but a call to engage. The arrival of this new killer stirs up a sense of companionship in Dexter's otherwise solitary existence. Even a monster, it seems, can yearn for a friend.

Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005)

Book cover of Dearly Devoted Dexter
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Dexter Morgan, our favorite morally ambiguous serial killer, finds himself in a predicament. To elude the suspicions of Sergeant Doakes, who's convinced Dexter is a murderer (which, let's face it, he is), Dexter has had to retreat into his perfect cover. He's been spending his time off from his job as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department with his girlfriend, Rita, and her two children, morphing into an unlikely family man and a serial killer turned couch potato. But the question lingers: how long can Dexter suppress his 'Dark Passenger'?

Just as Dexter's dark cravings begin to stir, a new psychopath begins a terrifying spree in Miami, leaving even Dexter at a loss for words with his horrifying methods. As this new threat unfolds, Dexter's sister, Deborah Morgan, a newly promoted Miami detective, is pulled into the investigation. It becomes evident that it might take a monster to catch a monster. But when Dexter's nemesis is kidnapped, Dexter is finally able to engage in the hunt for a new adversary. That is, unless his new adversary gets to him first...

Dexter in the Dark (2006)

Book cover of Dexter in the Dark
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Dexter Morgan, a Miami crime scene investigator with a secret penchant for murder, usually navigates life with ease, thanks to his 'Dark Passenger', the internal voice that guides his sinister deeds. Dexter's life is a balancing act between his job as a blood spatter analyst, his role in raising his fiancée's two quirky children, and his moonlit adventures as a vigilante, only targeting those who truly deserve his deadly attention.

However, Dexter's world is thrown into disarray when he encounters a double homicide at a university campus. This should be a routine investigation, but something about the crime scene sends a chill down his spine. His Dark Passenger, the source of his lethal expertise, suddenly retreats into the shadows. Now, Dexter must navigate this case alone, juggling the demands of his assertive sister, Sergeant Deborah, his anxious fiancée, Rita, and a terrifyingly intense wedding caterer. More disturbingly, Dexter senses a powerful, dark force targeting him.

With his Dark Passenger missing, Dexter must rely on his own investigative skills to not only track down this new threat but also to understand his own dark side. This leads him to confront questions he's always avoided: Who or what is the Dark Passenger, and where did it come from? His quest to understand his own dark soul is fueled by a steady diet of fresh doughnuts, a small comfort in his unsettling journey.

Dexter by Design (2008)

Book cover of Dexter by Design
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Life seems to have settled into a comfortable rhythm for Dexter Morgan following his unexpectedly delightful honeymoon in Paris. He's happily married, well-fed, and his murderous inclinations are kept in check. However, his job as a blood spatter analyst continually presents tantalizing opportunities that appeal to his unique sense of justice, and his 'Dark Passenger' is always ready to embark on a moonlit hunt.

This semblance of normalcy is disrupted when a creatively posed corpse, mimicking a sunbather, is discovered on a Miami beach. This gruesome spectacle not only sparks Dexter's interest but also alerts Miami's law enforcement to the presence of a new serial killer. Naturally, this means Dexter is back in the game.

Dexter Is Delicious (2010)

Book cover of Dexter Is Delicious
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Dexter Morgan, our favorite homicidal protagonist, has always managed to keep his dark desires under control by sticking to one crucial rule: he only kills the truly wicked. However, Dexter's life takes a turn with the arrival of his newborn daughter, an eight-pound bundle of joy that has him wrapped around her tiny fingers. This newfound domestic bliss is abruptly interrupted when Dexter is called to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a 17-year-old girl. This girl was part of an eccentric group of goths who identify as vampires. As Dexter delves deeper into the case, he discovers a chilling truth: these self-proclaimed vampires are more akin to cannibals. Even more unsettling is their newfound interest in Dexter, not as a fellow predator, but as their next meal.

Double Dexter (2011)

Book cover of Double Dexter
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Dexter Morgan, a man who takes immense pride in his carefully concealed homicidal tendencies, finds himself in a disconcerting situation. Someone has not only discovered his secret but is also using his own methods against him, which is enough to unsettle even the most composed serial killer.

The plot thickens when a ruthless murderer starts targeting Miami's police detectives, leaving behind unrecognizable corpses and fueling the department's worst fears. As paranoia seeps into the ranks, Dexter's position becomes increasingly precarious. Time is running out for him to hunt down this imitator and dispense his unique form of justice, before his dark pastime is exposed to the world.

Dexter's Final Cut (2012)

Book cover of Dexter's Final Cut
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Hollywood collides with Miami's underbelly when television's biggest star, Robert Chase, takes an unusual interest in Dexter Morgan, a seemingly ordinary blood spatter analyst with a penchant for doughnuts. Known for immersing himself in his roles, Chase is in Miami for "research" and becomes fascinated by Dexter, eager to shadow him and understand what makes him tick.

However, there's a snag in this star-studded scenario. Dexter's favorite pastime, hunting down and dealing with the worst criminals who've slipped through the legal cracks, is a secret he must keep hidden, especially from the glaring lights of Hollywood. The last thing Dexter needs is the attention of the paparazzi and the scrutiny of inflated Hollywood egos. But even Dexter, with his dark hobby, finds it hard to resist the allure of fame.

Dexter Is Dead (2015)

Dexter Is Dead
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Dexter Morgan finds himself behind bars, facing multiple homicide charges for crimes he didn't commit, a cruel twist of irony for the actual serial killer. He's lost it all - his wife, children, career, and even the trust of his sister. His only glimmer of hope for redemption lies in his brother, Brian, a man whose homicidal tendencies make Dexter seem like the family saint. By aiding Brian in navigating his own perilous situation, Dexter sees a potential route to proving his innocence.

However, the stakes are dangerously high. With nothing left to lose, Dexter plunges headfirst into a monumental showdown, which could very well be his final act.

Dexter Down Under (2016): Graphic Novel

Book cover of Dexter Down Under
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Dexter Morgan, Miami's top forensic blood-spatter expert with a secret life as a serial killer who targets other killers, embarks on a thrilling adventure in Australia. However, he soon discovers that sharks aren't the only lethal predators in the land Down Under. Dexter finds himself on the trail of a new murderer, who seems to be organizing illegal hunting safaris in the Outback, with potential targets extending beyond wildlife. As Dexter delves into the investigation in his unique way, he soon realizes that the tables have turned - he's no longer the hunter, but the hunted. Trapped in a private reserve where humans are the targets, Dexter faces a potentially explosive situation.

A Clean Cut: Ending Our Journey Through the Dexter Books

And there you have it, the Dexter books in order, a thrilling journey through the double life of Dexter Morgan. Whether you're just starting your journey with Dexter or revisiting his dark escapades, I hope this guide has provided a clear path to follow. Remember, the order Dexter Morgan tales unfold in these books is crucial to fully appreciate the depth of his character and the complexity of his world. So, grab your favorite beverage, find a cozy corner, and dive into the captivating world of Dexter. Happy reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

Was Dexter Turned into a TV Series?

Absolutely, the thrilling world of Dexter leapt from the pages to the small screen, thanks to James Manos Jr. who adapted Jeff Lindsay's captivating novels into a television series. The show, aptly named "Dexter," brought to life the complex character of Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst for the Miami police by day and a serial killer targeting the guilty by night. The series was a hit, garnering a global fanbase and further cementing Dexter's place in the annals of unforgettable fictional characters. You can stream the Dexter series here.

Who is Jeff Lindsay? His Biography

Portrait of author Jeff Lindsay

The creator of the globally renowned 'Dexter' novels, which have been translated into 44 languages and inspired a hit TV show, is none other than Jeff Lindsay. Today, he's a full-time writer, but his past is a vibrant mosaic of experiences. He's worn many hats, from actor to musician, from teacher to detective, from cook to handyman, and even a sailing instructor. He still dabbles in voice-over work, including narrating his own audiobooks.

Lindsay's creative pursuits have seen him strumming his guitar as a solo performer and with various bands in the bustling L.A. club scene of the early 1980s. He spent four years working with comedian Steve Allen and even shared a breakfast with Steven Spielberg. His writing journey has taken him from scripting TV sitcoms and feature films to teaching writing and screenwriting at the university level. He's crafted twenty-two plays, some of them musicals, that have been staged from New York to London. For half a decade, he authored a semi-syndicated weekly column, "Fatherhood," offering a male perspective on parenting, and hosted several local PBS-TV shows, including a nationally broadcast documentary, Hemingway In Cuba. Now, he's a proud collector of an impressive array of guitars. Lindsay shares his life with his wonderful wife, Hilary Hemingway, and their three daughters.

If you love edge-of-your-seat thrillers you might enjoy The Gray Man books.

Portrait of the article author, Chris Beach
Chris Beach

Hi, I'm Chris. My love of books started when I was a child visiting libraries with my Dad. The smell and feel of old pages still sparks something within me that can I can only express as an emotional attachment to books. Two decades later this evolved into a passion for collecting rare books, particularly 17th century early-English literature, and rare children's books. I believe every book has its own story and each one reveals something new about the world we live in.
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