Book Review: Red Dragon by Thomas Harris


Red Dragon - Thomas Harris
Red Dragon - Thomas Harris

This is the first novel in the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris. The story brings Special Agent Jack Crawford, trying to rope in his protégé and the man who caught Hannibal Lecter, Will Graham to catch a serial killer called the Tooth Fairy.

The Tooth Fairy seems to be randomly stalking and murdering families and Crawford hopes Will would be able to catch the killer before the next crime. The Tooth Fairy is actually a disturbed man named Francis Dolarhyde who worships Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and a cannibalistic serial killer. Calling himself The Great Red Dragon (because of his obsession with the William Blake painting, “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun“), the killer is unable to control his violent, sexual urges.

The Tooth Fairy begins correspondence with Dr. Hannibal Lecter and following their secret communication, Will Graham fears that Lecter might divulge his whereabouts and has to uproot his family and place them in security.

Graham already bears scars from his struggles in apprehending Hannibal. What will he take this time in dealing with Hannibal’s protégé? Will he be able to keep his family and himself safe from the killer who has sworn revenge from Graham?

Harris weaves a tightly spun web of deceit and evil, a constant chase between the killer and its nemesis. His portrayal is spine chillingly too close to reality, and his characters enduring on pages of crime and mystery fiction. The greatest achievement probably is the creation of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, appearing in sequels The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising and who has been immortalized on the silver screen by Anthony Hopkins. It would be hard for anyone who has seen ( or read of ) the image of Dr. Hannibal Lecter with his face covered in an iron mask to keep him from biting his visitors and his maroon eyes, will always get the creeps while reading the Hannibal novels.

Pick this one up to be thrilled and get some well directed heebie-jeebies.


You can also read the review here.


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