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A Superior Serial Killer Novel
on April 13, 2004
Red Dragon is an exciting and grisly crime novel which is brilliantly written in a taught and deceptively simple prose style. We are introduced to Dr. Hannibal Lecter in this book and it is a great introduction, setting up the action which continues in The Silence of the Lambs (a book I also gave a five stared review).
In this book the villain is Francis Dolarhyde, a man with an exceptionally shocking past. I especially liked the inclusion of several chapters about his childhood because they accomplish the seemingly impossible, to make you feel real sympathy for him because the cruelty he suffered as a boy was horrific. The sections of the book where Dolarhyde is alone with Reba McClane really got my pulse racing because Reba's blindness made her extremely vulnerable to him. The plot was excellent and very twisted, involving several shocking and uncomfortable developments which had me biting my nails rather a lot! Will Graham, the FBI investigator, was also a well developed character and I was willing him to succeed throughout.
Overall I would recommend Red Dragon to those who like to read tense and beautifully written crime novels - and can put up with the gruesome and scary parts which are quite disturbing. Like The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon is a superior serial killer novel and a must read for crime fiction fans