My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ah! Dr. Hannibal Lecter, so nice to meet you. Welcome, please come in.
You have to be polite to Dr. Lecter, and definitely not rude. Rudeness has consequences.
Considering how little Lecter really is in the book, he makes an enormous impression. The main protagonist is in fact Will Graham, a former FBI consultant who is forcibly brought back by Jack Crawford to try and find the perpetrator of some grizzly murders. Someone who calls himself the Red Dragon.
The story is well known, and has been developed for film/TV three time already. I won’t spoil the plot here. No matter how many times you’ve seen those versions however, the book still manages to grip you in a way they can’t. He’s in your head, not just on screen, there’s a much more personal connection to both cat and mouse in this game. Will Graham is probably the most psychologically complex fictional investigative character ever written. Not only is he deductive, reductive, and imaginative, but he’s also empathetic. Empathising with both killer and victim, and anyone he focuses on. This can be deeply disturbing for a single individual to deal with an influx of emotion that is not their own. It’s compelling for the reader, who is led to feel and experience these things for themselves.