Second in the series. Elements of Dexter's life change fairly rapidly. It is probably wise to read these books in order.
In this novel Dexter is faced with another serial killer whose work makes Dex swoon with envy. Oh wait, this killer doesn't always kill, quite. He does worse. What he creates from his victims is unimaginable. Dexter would be happy to watch the further evolution of this character from the sidelines - with the thought of eventually making him his own victim, of course - except that he kidnaps someone of whom sister Deborah is inordinately fond. Dexter does not like to face Deb's wrath so makes it his mission to track down the dastardly creature.
Meanwhile, Dex fixes on a child-killer and his accomplice and tries to find the time and privacy to dispatch them both. His efforts here are hampered by two things: a further involvement with his girlfriend Rita and her two children, and Sergeant Doakes, who seriously has it in for poor Dex. Dexter's dark passenger recognizes something similar in Doakes, which may explain why Doakes is the only one in the police department who sees the evil in Dexter. And who is determined to catch him out. To the extent of following him everywhere. Makes for some problems in tracking down victims, fer sure.
At one point Doakes is also kidnapped. Dexter does not do his all to save him, as he is more than willing to let him be the next victim of the vivisectionist. This aspect of the Dexter of the novel differs from the one in the television series. I don't see the tv Dex just letting this kind of nature take its course. The tv Dex is simply nicer, and the serial killer part of him hangs rather awkwardly on his frame. While the television series owes a lot to the books the story lines also differ enough that it's possible to enjoy both independently.
Note: Another book that I would normally not review here. But this copy is a library copy, loaned to me by a friend, thus no bookcrossing registration number. I did not want to lose my thoughts about it so I post them here.