Books I Read Week of 1 January 2012

Double Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

In this sixth book of the Dexter series, Dexter Morgan, blood-spatter analyst by day, serial-killer-killing serial killer by night, has a witness catch him dismembering a pedophile. The witness begins threatening Dexter, so he knows he has to find out who he is and get to him first. Meanwhile, the Miami police department is searching for a cop-killer, and Dexter soon becomes a suspect.

This book was written, edited, and published about a year after the last book in the series, and in some aspects of the language, this is speed is evident. The word choice is sometimes sub-par, as was the syntax of the previous novels, and some of the dialogue is so-so, but the pacing and characterization are brilliant. The characters have retained their personalities throughout the so far six book series, and I have to give Jeff Lindsay a thumbs-up for this. The character Rita, though, is quite annoying, as is her speech pattern, but her personality, albeit an irritating one, has remained intact. The suspense is also well done and makes up for the mediocre writing.

The Virgin Suicides
– Jeffrey Eugenides

Over the course of a year and a half, the five teenage Lisbon sisters commit suicide one by one. The neighborhood boys watch them from afar, both intrigued by their eccentric sensuality and disturbed by their melancholy.

Jeffrey Eugenides knows just the right word to say to portray an emotion, whether it be a lazy, resigned EMT coming to take a suicidal girl to the hospital, a curious boy watching a sad girl through her bedroom window, or a thirteen-year-old girl who makes the decision to jump from the roof of her house during a party hosted in her honor. This is a beautiful and touching book about puberty and depression.