Book Review: Red Dragon

Have you ever wanted to go inside the mind of a serial killer? Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be part of a manhunt? Red Dragon by Thomas Harris answers both these questions.

I am fully aware there’s a movie based on this book. I also understand this book came out a number of years ago. Here’s the deal: I got the book a couple of days ago and I’ve just reading the book. I don’t think it matters how old the book is, if it’s a good book it will always feel like new.

Book and Movie Series

The novel Red Dragon is part of the Hannibal Lecter books. Whenever a series comes out I don’t like to read them in the order they are released. I like to read them in the story’s chronological order. Red Dragon is the 2nd book in the series. This is the order I recommend for anyone to read these books:

  1. Hannibal Rising
  2. Red Dragon
  3. The Silence of The Lambs
  4. Hannibal

I also recommend you watch the movies in the same order.

Monster Psychology

What I enjoyed about this book is how Thomas Harris takes the reader into the mind of the serial killer. He goes into the killer’s background and explains why he became a killer. At one point of the story I felt my level of disgust towards the killer almost went away. I hate to admit it, but I felt sorry for the guy. My disgust came rushing back once I read about what he did to the victims.

Inside The FBI

The book took me inside the mind of Will Graham, the protagonist of the story. In Will Graham, Harris shows us an imperfect man. In the same way he shows the reader why the serial killer is the way he is, Harris shows us Graham’s internal struggle. I identified with Will Graham. Harris makes the reader care about the characters he presents.

Story

The pace of the story is perfect and the vocabulary is accessible. Even though the story is the 2nd in the series, it still feels like a standalone book. The story has some gory scenes, but I think they were done with the right amount of gore. It’s a book about a serial killer, after all. I think the book would have suffered if the author wouldn’t have included some gore.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. Thomas Harris is a master of his craft and this book shows it. If you enjoy the psychological aspects to crime-solving I recommend you read this book.

Ezra Carias is an author and musician. You can see his latest books here.

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