Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thomas Harris - Silence of the Lambs *CONTAINS SPOILERS*

I recently read Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. This is the second book in the Hannibal series, the middle book in between Red Dragon and Hannibal. I have never seen any of the Hannibal movies, so as far as story line goes, I had nothing to base any expectations off of, which I generally prefer when reading books.

Silence of the Lambs is of the mystery genre, which, I must admit, is not my favourite genre to read. There are so many mysteries out there that too many of them are similar. The murderer of this story is a man that the public calls “Buffalo Bill”, and has been killing young women and skinning them, seemingly in a random order, as the bodies have been found all over the place with no apparent pattern. Clarice Starling, a trainee-FBI agent, is given the task of interviewing Hannibal Lecter, an imprisoned psychologist-and-psychopath-in-one, who may know who Buffalo Bill is and what his motives are. 

Buffalo Bill turns out to be a transvestite-type, who is attempting to make a skin suit out of a woman's skin, in order to 'become' a woman. Quite disturbing and quite interesting, and I have to say that I wasn't expecting that one. But the real draw to this book is Starling's interviews with Hannibal. His character intrigues me to no end. Being a former psychologist but also a psychopath is a dangerous combination – he knows exactly how to get into one's head and mess with them, and one can never tell if he's being genuine or if he is telling you a flat-out lie. 

By the end of the book, Hannibal has lead Starling and the FBI to Buffalo Bill. However, he has also escaped, after being transferred from his high-security cell to one where the security is less knowledgeable of his ways.
I am looking forward to reading Hannibal. While Silence of the Lambs gave a glimpse of the mad genius of Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal is completely focused on his character. I will definitely do a follow-up about that novel after I read it.

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