Title: Red Dragon
Genre: Crime / Psychological Fiction
Author: Thomas Harris
I made the mistake of starting to read this book while I was still revising for my exams. It became clear after only a few pages – that was a big mistake. This is one of those books where time easily escapes as the pages fly by. After reading only 4 chapters I ordered the rest of the Hannibal books and put this aside until I had the time to devour it.
Today was that lucky day. I have just finished digesting this spectacular book and need to write about it right away.
Will Graham (an empathic psychological consultant) and Jack Crawford (an investigator) are trying to find out who murdered two different families over the last two full moons before he kills again. They know the killer likes to bite his victims and is distastefully named the ‘tooth fairy’, they also know that he repositions the bodies after killing them and places mirrors in their eyes. He likes an audience, but what for?
While a lot of people in the western world have watched the movies, the TV series or at least heard of Hannibal Lecture – this book focuses mostly the becoming of the Red Dragon (aka the tooth fairy). A large part of this book covers back story of the Red Dragon – the horrific abuse, abandonment and rejection his facial disfigurement accorded him as a baby, a boy and then the man he learnt to be. In the mist of his ‘becoming’ and preparations to make his next murder even more magnificent, the Dragon meets Reba, a blind woman who does not know of his deformity. He likes to be with Reba because she cannot see him looking at her, and he likes to look at her.
My favourite part of this book occurs in the first half, when Freddy Lounds a journalist for the Tattler winds up a bit too involved with the dragon after his plot for fame backfires. I don’t want to spoil too much – but that was some serious mastery in literature!
Another note of interest is the short and abrupt use of sentences in this book – something I have rarely encountered and works oh so effectively!
Can’t wait to sink my teeth into The Silence of The Lambs.
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!