This was not as gory as I thought it would be. It wasn’t overly descriptive and it had a sense of unreality to it. Compared to the true crime novels I’ve been reading lately–real, horrible crimes described and done to real, living, people, this seemed less, I don’t know, realistic? Yes, the way the bodies are found are gory and frankly, really creative but it’s desensitized–the victims don’t feel like they’re human and are just bodies–no families to cry over them, no backstories, no ‘I-ended-up-in-Bluebeard’s-castle-because-working-there-would-give-the-family-money-and-honor’. And then it’s told from Dexter’s point of view, who doesn’t identify himself as human (although some parts in the book prove otherwise) and continually refers to himself as a monster. He has also appeared accepted his killing urges by referring to it as his “Dark Passenger”, as a “backseat driver” who urges him to kill, and he is subject to its whims. Does that make it okay? Maybe it helps him sleep at night, thinking of it that way (even if he as the narrator maintains that he doesn’t have a conscience). At least Elizabeth Bathory was honest–let me torture these maidens and kill them so I can use their blood to make my skin look younger.
The writing is engaging. Most of the parts that have suspense in them usually have Dexter in a trance-like state, which is just a little bit annoying because it doesn’t feel real, like things are only happening in a dream. I’d have also liked to read more about Dexter’s victims, in a way that gives the readers more details about what Dexter is killing them for. The two times Dexter killed in this novel, the reasons were alluded to and briefly mentioned, but weren’t delved into enough. Sure, he was convinced they were also serial killers but we never got to see his process of “researching” his victims and proving they’re guilty of the crimes.
And it will sound weird but for a book about crime and death and sociopaths and blood, the humor during normal conversations in this book is funny.