◐ Book Name: Red Dragon
◐ Author: Thomas Harris
◐ Genre: Psychological Horror
◐ Pages: 454
Drawn out of early retirement, Will Graham joins Jack Crawford in the FBI to catch a mysterious serial killer calling himself “The Red Dragon.” Finding themselves at a loss, they look to Hannibal Lecter, another serial killer, for insight into the case.
Recommended for fans of Hannibal, and slow-burning mystery thrillers
graphic depictions of violence, murder, and sex
◐ Review: 2/5 ⭐
I ought to preface this by saying that in spite of this low rating, I did get some entertainment value out of this book. I just think this genre might not be for me. I also think I should add a disclaimer that I watched and loved NBC’s Hannibal series with Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. Reading this book made me want to rewatch it.
Anyways, I knew going in that the books would be quite different from the show. I’m not sure “dislike” would be the appropriate word to describe my feeling toward the book; in my opinion, thrillers do better on the screen than on the page. I ended up reading the book too fast, in my race to find out how they catch the killer. In my speed, I imagine I must have skipped over many details.
I enjoyed the in-depth look into Will Graham’s mind–the way he thinks is so unique. He is described as a pure empath, which proves both a blessing (for criminal profiling) and a curse (for his personal life). His interactions with Hannibal, though few, are fascinating.
The story moved at a nice, even pace, switching between Will’s perspective and the killer’s. I really liked the ending, where everything came together. Will’s ability to come to the conclusion he did, made absolute sense and was an amazing picture of his deductive abilities.
I say the pace was nice and even, but it was, as I mentioned above, too slow for me. At the same time, I can’t think of anything that could have been done to make it shorter. The book reads incredibly smoothly. It likely comes down to personal genre preference.
The large blocks of dialogue bothered me a bit. I generally dislike huge chunks of dialogue because it’s more difficult for me to keep track of who’s speaking.
Though Hannibal plays only a peripheral role here, his presence is mesmerising. Whatever other faults there may be with this book, it managed to hook me enough that I still want to read the rest of the series, if only to read more about Hannibal.
It’s hard to have anything, isn’t it? Rare to get it, hard to keep it.
Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.
Pachelbel’s Canon filled the sun-drowned room where they learned each other and there was the exhilaration too big to hold and even then the fear flickered across him like an osprey’s shadow: This is too good to live for long.
Really, didn’t you feel so bad because killing him felt so good? Think about it, but don’t worry about it. Why shouldn’t it feel good? It must feel good to God—He does it all the time, and are we not made in His image?