‘Red Dragon’ by Thomas Harris

Red Dragon

In the first of the Hannibal Lecter books, Thomas Harris introduces his infamous psychiatrist in this tale of a murderous psychopath caught in the grip of a demonic delusion. Lecter is already in jail, but the FBI needs his help to catch the killer of two families. Seeking to satisfy his sexual hunger, the self-styled Red Dragon, is already planning the next murder. Short on clues, the FBI bring in semi-retired investigator Will Graham to help track the killer, but with the murders linked to the lunar cycle, time is running out.

I first read this book many years ago after seeing the Michael Mann film version (Manhunter). Although Lecter only appears briefly in this one, Harris sets the stage for the sequels, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Hannibal’. He also introduces recurring characters, including Dr Chilton and Jack Crawford, and deftly keeps the tension on the boil as the police and FBI teams struggle to discover the identity of the killer.

This is a cracking good read from a master storyteller, and even if you’ve seen one or both movie versions, there’s plenty here to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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  9 comments for “‘Red Dragon’ by Thomas Harris

  1. 22/08/2017 at 10:06 AM

    Great review of this thriller. You made me want to check it out.


    • 26/08/2017 at 7:30 AM

      Thanks Vicki – I’ll be moving on to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal soon. Might even read them with some fava beans and a nice chianti… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVlkZVAw8Gc

      Liked by 1 person

      • 26/08/2017 at 7:40 AM

        Ewwww You are too funny. Now I am all creeped out. I admit I have never read the books, I have only seen enough snippets of the movies to say. Um, no thank you. I am not a Fava beans and Chianti kind of girl.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 19/08/2017 at 8:18 PM

    This is not a book for me, Colin. It is far to scary. My mother and aunt love these sorts of books though so I have made a note of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 19/08/2017 at 5:50 PM

    I also read this many years ago. Great series of books. The Silence of the Lambs is my favourite. Love the film too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 19/08/2017 at 7:18 PM

      Yes, only thing is, once you’ve seen the movies it’s hard to get them out of your head (and you don’t want Hannibal Lecter in your head…)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. anderskermod
    19/08/2017 at 12:17 PM

    Thanks for the reminder, Colin. I too saw the Michael Mann film before reading the book. In my Goodreads review of Michael Dibdin’s Dark Spectre, I suggest that Dibdin may have been in part writing a riposte to Harris, saying “this is what a serial killer inspired by Blake would really look like”: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1714842171

    Liked by 1 person

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