1988 **** 369 pages
After the brilliant Red Dragon, Thomas Harris wasn't through with the Hannibal Lecter character. Rightfully so, the deeply nuanced character had cast his spell over the author, and he wanted to see where else the character would take him. This time around, we follow a young FBI trainee who consults the famous cannibal as an assignment. This assignment ends up putting her on the trail of a serial killer called Buffalo Bill. The dynamic relationship between the trainee and Lecter are the main highlights of this story, but it does have a lot more to offer. However, this is one instance where the film version improves upon the novel. The novel gets to be a bit too explanatory at times, unnecessarily dumbing down the story for its reader, whereas the film hits the points once, very expertly, and moves on. It's still worth a read, though, if you're a fan of the story and its characters. Just make sure you read Red Dragon first, as it was written and published first, and I feel it's a much better work.