|Cover artist||Edward Bettison – Design & Art Direction|
|Genre||Crime novel,Horror fiction|
|Publisher||Orion Books Limited|
|February 2009 (UK),
September 2009 (U.S.)
|Media type||Print (hardback)|
|Pages||304 (Hardcover February 2009 edition)|
|Preceded by||Dexter in the Dark|
|Followed by||Dexter Is Delicious|
Dexter by Design (2009) is a mystery novel written by Jeff Lindsay. It is the fourth novel in the Dexter Morgan series, preceded by Darkly Dreaming Dexter(which formed the basis for the Showtime television series Dexter), Dearly Devoted Dexter, and Dexter in the Dark.
Dexter by Design was released in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2009.
The themes in Dexter by Design include the morality of taking human life and provides commentary on the human condition from an “outsider’s point of view”, both of which are common to the Dexter series of novels. The major themes of this particular novel are the arts, specifically modern and experimental art.
Dexter by Design briefly mentions internet fame, and includes several references to YouTube.
After the events of the previous book, Dexter Morgan is eager to resume his hobby of stalking criminals, but first must endure a honeymoon in Pariswith his unsuspecting wife, Rita. At an art gallery, the couple witness an avant-garde performance piece in which the artist amputates her own limb. Upon returning home, Dexter finds that his relationship with his sister, Deborah, has become strained since she learned of his murderous pastime. Deborah, now a sergeant in the Miami-Dade Police Department’s homicide unit, is torn between loyalty to Dexter and her duty as a police officer to arrest him.
Dexter is called to investigate a gruesome tableau on a local beach, where a pair of bodies have been mutilated and arranged in a display that parodies the state’s tourist trade. At home, Rita is concerned for her children, Cody and Astor, who appear withdrawn and different from normal children. Dexter knows that the two share his pathology and has promised to train them to kill those who “deserve it”, as his adoptive father, Harry, trained him. Cody is enrolled as a Cub Scout, which Rita believes will help him to bond with normal children. Dexter believes it will help him learn how to pretend to be normal.
Jeff Lindsay is the pen name of American playwright and crime novelist Jeffry P. Freundlich (born July 14, 1952), 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 author in her own right. Lindsay was born in Miami and graduated from Ransom Everglades School in 1970, and from Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1975.
The first book in the Dexter series, Darkly Dreaming Dexter (which Lindsay wanted to name “Pinocchio Bleeds” after his middle daughter suggested it but his publisher disagreed) was included on the original nomination list for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards in the Best First Novel category. However, it was dropped from the list after the group learned that Lindsay had put out several books in the 1990s under another pen name, Jeffrey P. Lindsay.