Michael C. Hall, the superb actor who plays Dexter's role in the well-known TV series, suffers from lymphatic cancer. According to himself and his wife Jennifer Carpenter (his sister, Debra Morgan, in the fiction), Michael's illness was caught in enough advance for the chances of full recovery to be high. One wishes and expects Michael to overcome his illness with the right treatment, which he seems to be receiving.
In the early 2000s Michael C. Hall played another somewhat dark character: that of David Fisher, a closet-gay embalmer who comes out, becomes a funeral director, gets sued for biting someone's earring off and is kidnapped and tortured for hours --hey, if you think that's bad, you should see how his brother Nate came through. The ghostly appearances of David Fisher's dead father, a recurrent Six Feet Under theme, have been picked up in Dexter too, with efficient results. They are not, however, found in the novels by Jeff Lindsay that the story is based upon.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter and Demented Daddy Dexter are all one and the same: the product of Jeff Lindsay's fertile imagination. Dashiell Hammett was a better writer than William Faulkner by miles, only his genre wasn't so prestigious. The same could be said about Lindsay, ignored by high-brow literary scholars but popular among cable TV audiences and wireless Internet pirates like yours truly. What makes Dexter such a good series, though, is the fact that it is filmed as if it was a big movie. So big it has a running length of 25 hours, divided in 30 episodes. And episodes here mean chapters of a plot-developing novel, not exchangeable, non-progressing pieces of the same sit-com all over again.
As to the novels, the key to their success may well be the character of Dexter himself. Nowhere else have we seen a psychopath we like as much as we love to like Dexter. Whenever he risks getting caught, which is almost constantly, we literally want him to get away with murder; and if that means making up false evidence or getting rid of actual proof, then so be it. We already know the system doesn't work. Otherwise why would we need a serial killer like Dexter to "take out the garbage"?
Of course we also know that real-life serial killers are nothing like Dexter, who, as far as we know, wasn't even sexually abused as a child. But some poetic licence is definitely in order here.
Dexter, too, is a glutton for order. Only by embracing the illusion of order can he channel the urges of his dark passenger into a socially-acceptable disguise: the one of a family man. Without strict order, he'd end up getting a lethal injection into his blood stream (this is the state of Florida). His boat, significantly called "Slice of Life", is the only place where he can "let everything go". With the Gulf stream.
Now that his wife Rita has been murdered by an arch rival of his, Arthur Mitchell, the so-called "Trinity" killer (disturbingly well played by John Lithgow), he'll understandably be in not such a good shape. Get well soon, Michael. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger; and there really isn't any other Dexter.