Friday, 22 May 2015

Review: Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Publisher: Arrow
Format: Paperback
Released: May 7th, 2009 (reprint)
Rating: 8/10

Amazon summary:

Sexual hunger; demonic violence; sinister logic - the lethal components of a deadly formula driving a psychopath in the grip of an unimagin-able delusion; a boastful killer who sends the police tormenting notes; a tortured, torturing monster who finds ultimate pleasure in viciously murdering happy families, and calls himself. . . The Red Dragon. 


I've had a little obsession with Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham ever since watching the TV show Hannibal. With Season 3 fast approaching - a season that is said to follow Red Dragon very closely - I thought it was about time I started to read the original source material. I really enjoyed this book and finished it pretty quickly considering I haven't felt like doing much reading recently. It's fast-paced and addictive, grisly and, at times, truly terrifying. Just like the show!

I'm sure most people know the story of Hannibal Lecter in one form or another, so I won't bore you all with a synopsis of Red Dragon's goings on. Instead I want to talk about how every character in this book is engaging and realistic, which I often find unusual for a novel of this type. Crime style books rarely draw me in enough to finish them, though this one did the trick. I was genuinely engrossed in the story of the Tooth Fairy killer and Will Graham's task to find him, and I was on the edge of my seat on more than one occasion.

Thomas Harris paints an excellent picture when it comes to Francis Dolarhyde and his extreme creepiness. I loved him as a character, many flaws and all, and I thought he was a great serial killer to have roaming the streets. He's unsettling to a very high degree and Harris explores this through a series of disturbing flashbacks throughout the novel, which makes it somewhat easier to understand Dolarhyde and why he is the way he is. I can't wait to see Richard Armitage play him in the show!

Red Dragon is a brilliant introduction to Hannibal and Will, and it's succeeded in making me want to read the other three books in the series. It's taken me a long time to read these books and I'm glad I've finally dipped my toe into this horrific world of killers and the men chasing them. I'm now looking forward to reading The Silence of the Lambs!

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