Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Originally Published: 1981
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris is the 1st in the Hannibal Lecter series if taken by publishing date.
In Chronological order, this book actually is the second. Hannibal Rising would be the first, which tells the story of Lecter’s childhood and early years, but publication order is probably the best way of reading them.
Lecter does not actually play a major role in this book, but he is in the background, and you know he is hanging over Will’s every move.
Special Agent Will Graham, after capturing Hannibal Lecter and barely surviving, retired to Florida. His boss, FBI Director Jack Crawford gets him out of retirement to assist in the capture of “The Tooth Fairy”, a deranged murderer who is killing whole families during each full moon. It turns out that this killer is obsessed with a painting entitled “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun”. He believes that with each murder, he is changing into The Great Red Dragon.
Graham realizes that without assistance from Hannibal Lecter, he may not solve this case. He is also being hounded by Freddy Lounds, a reporter with a sleazy tabloid. Freddy ends up being part of the game, and so do Graham’s wife and stepson. The book does not have a fairy tale ending.
I love these books. I will also admit to enjoying the movies and the television series. Thomas Harris created a monster, and I can’t get enough of him.
Favorite Quotes from Red Dragon:
“Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.”
“I am the dragon, and you call me insane.
Re-Read: February 2014
About the Author: Thomas Harris began his writing career as a reporter covering crime. His first novel, Black Sunday, was printed in 1975, followed by Red Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988, Hannibal in 1999, and Hannibal Rising in 2006. All of his books have been made into movies.