Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris: Will Graham is good at catching serial killers, but the stress forces him into early retirement from government service – until a new one emerges, killing entire families at a time. In some ways this is your standard thriller, with the cops racing to catch the bad guy before he kills again, but the killer himself has an interesting and somewhat tragic backstory. Even more fascinating to me was watching the crime solving done with early pre-DNA technology. It’s a similar appeal to the Sherlock Holmes stories, solving mysteries without fingerprinting. Of course, these were all written with the then-latest technology in mind, but that adds an extra layer of interest to me as the years go by. I suppose if you’re only interested in the latest and greatest, this could come across as slightly dated. All the same, I really enjoyed it, even if The Silence of the Lambs was, in my humble opinion, a lot better.

For all the advertisement on the cover about this being the first Hannibal Lecter book, he’s barely in it at all. It’s not too surprising that the “ask a serial killer for help catching a serial killer” bit was reused to greater effect in The Silence of the Lambs. In fact, it would probably be helpful to read that one first in order to understand all the hullabaloo about that character in the first place – you certainly don’t get much of a taste (ha!) of it here.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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