Dexter Morgan is a serial killer.
But, he's the likeable kind of serial killer.
I tried to explain this to my mom once, and she thought I was nuts.
As a young child Dexter witnessed his own mother's violent murder and is adopted by Harry Morgan, one of the policemen who investigates Dexter's mother's murder. Harry raises Dexter as his own along with his daughter Deborah and helps him when he discovers that Dexter has sociopathic tendencies. Harry loves Dexter and wants to keep him alive so he teaches him how to focus his killing urges on those the law is not able to deal with...criminals who get off on technicalities or those evil human beings for whom there is not enough evidence to convict in a court of law. During Season 1 the viewer gets to know Dexter, his sister Deborah, and Harry.
During Season 2, the Ice Truck Killer, who teased Dexter at the end of Season 1, continues his "shenanigans," and Dexter is on the chase. More of Dexter's past is revealed as is Harry's involvement in Dexter's mother's life and death. Deborah also is right in the middle of the Ice Truck Killer investigation, in more ways than she actually imagines. Dexter's disposal ground is also discovered, bringing Dexter's secret close to discovery.
The DA joins ranks with Dexter in searching for the murder of his brother. Dexter carefully guides Miguel Ramirez through the process of skirting around the law but is always suspicious and extra careful of Miguel's personal agendas, only to find out eventually that he may have sparked a killer in his own right in Miguel. Dexter has to deal with Miguel when he crosses the line.
The creepiest, scariest killer yet, Trinity, is at work. With a pattern of 3 kills before moving on, Trinity is a lifetime killer with the almost perfect cover, life and cover-up. Dexter discovers Trinity's true identity before the police do, but as Dexter juggles life as a family man with a dark secret, he is almost mesmerized at Trinity's "success." Dexter finally realizes Trinity has to be stopped...but the costs are high...higher than Dexter could have ever imagined.
The end of Season 4 was probably one of the biggest, most unexpected cliff hangers for a tv series. Thankfully I already own and was able to start watching the DVD's for Season 5. I actually cried all the way through the first episode of Season 5...ahem, I actually sobbed through much of it but couldn't look away :(
Anyhoo, you don't need to know what happened at the end of Season 4/beginning of Season 5 until you watch the DVD's leading up those episodes.
Yes, I've read the first book in this series...I liked it, but it's not really that different from the series. I had planned on reading another but just haven't gotten around to it. Dexter is actually one of those rare occasions where I may, in fact, like the media version better than the text version...I'm so ashamed (not really).
If you like murder mysteries, forensics, the workings behind solving homicides, police department drama, as well as the regular lives of these folks woven into their jobs, you'll like Dexter Morgan. I'm going to assume I don't have to tell you that there is blood, language, and violence in this series...it is a Showtime series, Dexter is a blood spatter analyst by trade, and of course, there's the serial killer thing.