The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview


A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname--Buffalo Bill--is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter--Hannibal the Cannibal--who is kept under close watch in the...
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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Series #2)

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Overview


A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname--Buffalo Bill--is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter--Hannibal the Cannibal--who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist with a grisly history, unusual tastes, and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
How to capture an insane serial murderer? Why not confront the cannibalistic Dr. Hannibal Lecter and probe his twisted mind in an attempt to hunt down your wanted man? Well, that was ambitious FBI agent Clarice Starling's intention. But her scheme opens Clarice to secrets even more frightening and dangerous.
New York Times
Superb.
Chicago Tribune
Fast paced...intriguing...exciting.
Washington Post
A virtual textbook on the craft of suspense. A masterwork of sheer momentum that rockets seamlessly toward its climax.... Harris is quite simply the best suspense novelist working today.
San Francisco Examiner
Beautifully written.
From the Publisher
"Razor-sharp entertainment, beautifully constructed and brilliantly written. Thrillers don't come any better than this."— Clive Barker

"A virtual textbook on the craft of suspense, a masterwork of sheer momentum that rockets seamlessly toward its climax... Harris is quite simply the best suspense novelist working today."— The Washington Post

"A psychological thriller so deftly woven and gripping that a reader can hardly get through one sentence fast enough to discover what's in the next."— Associated Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429957656
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2009
  • Series: Hannibal Lecter Series , #2
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 14,595
  • File size: 924 KB

Meet the Author


Thomas Harris is the author of Black Sunday, Red Dragon, and Hannibal.

Biography

Insightful. Cunning. Mysteriously elusive. Wickedly dark. Such descriptions could just as easily apply to novelist Thomas Harris as they could to his most famous creation -- one of the most notorious literary (and cinematic) villains of all time. Hannibal Lecter has left a wake of murder and chaos through a trilogy of horrifically mesmerizing thrillers: Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal. Now, twenty-five years after making his debut, Lecter is back in Harris's fifth novel Hannibal Rising. Biography From within the shadows of a darkened cell lurks a human monster with an intellect as sharp as a straight razor and a conscience as blank as a death shroud. He's Hannibal Lecter, a formerly brilliant psychiatrist turned prisoner after it was discovered that the good doctor had some rather, err... unconventional appetites.

Ever since the release of the film version of The Silence of the Lambs in 1991, Hannibal Lecter has been one of the most famous fictional villains in popular culture, perhaps only rivaled by Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. But what of Lecter's creator? Thomas Harris is quite a bit less accessible than the cannibalistic psychopath he crafted. While Harris is infamously media-shy, it is well known that he was once a crime reporter working for the Waco Tribune-Herald, later becoming a reporter and editor for the Associated Press. Harris would carry his fascination with true crime over to the world of literary fiction when he wrote his debut novel in the mid-70s. Black Sunday, the harrowing, terrifying tale of a terrorist attack plotted to take place during the Super Bowl, was inspired by the real-life assassination of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The novel revealed a young author with a gift for building palpable suspense out of a seemingly improbable situation (at least, in 1975 the idea of a mass-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil was considered to be highly improbable). Two years after the novel's release, it became a major motion picture directed by the late John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) and starring Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern. Black Sunday was the first film based on a book by Thomas Harris, but it was by no means the last.

In 1981, Harris finally published his second novel. It was Red Dragon that first introduced the world to Hannibal Lecter as he assists Special Agent William Graham of the FBI in his quest to hunt down a ritualistic killer. Lecter was a villain unlike any other: calm, controlled, insightful, even humorous, but ready to strike like a viper at any given moment. The book became a massive hit, both critically and commercially, paving the way for further adventures featuring the flesh-eating Lecter.

When Hannibal "The Cannibal" returned in a novel that propelled the character into the realm of superstardom, he was once again pitting wits with an FBI agent bent on bringing down a serial killer. However, this time the agent was infinitely more complex, her relationship with Lecter infinitely more provocative. Clarice Starling's battle of wits with Lecter was detailed in The Silence of the Lambs, one of the finest thrillers in print. The critical accolades were astounding: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Examiner, and the Chicago Tribune are just a sampling of the periodicals that praised The Silence of the Lambs. But it was Jonathan Demme's film adaptation of the novel that really sealed Harris's -- and Lecter's -- position in pop culture. With Anthony Hopkins giving a career performance as the doctor, The Silence of the Lambs is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films in cinema history. In fact, it is the only horror film ever to sweep the Academy Awards, winning trophies for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress (Jodie Foster as Agent Starling), and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published.

Not surprisingly, expectations were high when Harris published Hannibal in 1999. However, this reunion between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling was deemed too-much-of-a-grisly-thing by many critics who felt that the story had stumbled into the realm of gross self-parody. That didn't stop many from praising the book, though. In his review for the New York Times, fellow horror-master Stephen King said that Harris's fourth novel was "one of the two most frightening popular novels of our time, the other being The Exorcist." Larry King wrote in USA Today that Hannibal was nothing less than "a work of art." Once again, the story found a home on the big screen with Anthony Hopkins returning as Lecter and Julianne Moore taking over the role of Clarice. Much like the book upon which it was based, Hannibal received mixed notices because of its graphic violence despite the fact that the original ending of the book had been softened considerably.

For those hoping that the mixed reaction to Hannibal did not result in an end to Lecter's exploits, Harris's next book should be a bit of gruesome good news. Hannibal Rising is a prequel to the Lecter trilogy, tracking how an abandoned boy in Eastern Europe came to become one of the most diabolical creations in literature. So, settle down with some fava beans and a nice chianti, and hold tight... Hannibal Lecter will be back before you can say, "I'm having an old friend for dinner."

Good To Know

Harris is making his screenwriting debut with an adaptation of his Hannibal Rising. Starring the young French actor Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal Lecter, the film is slated for release in February 2007.

Harris supposedly declined to be involved in the making of The Silence of the Lambs, but when the film wrapped, he sent each member of the cast and crew a bottle of wine.

Hannibal Lecter made his big screen debut as played by Brian Cox in the 1986 Michael Mann film Manhunter, an adaptation of Red Dragon. Sixteen years later, Brett Ratner remade the film with the novel's original title and Anthony Hopkins resuming his role as Lecter.

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Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER 1
 
 
Behavioral Science, the FBI section that deals with serial murder, is on the bottom floor of the Academy building at Quantico, half-buried in the earth. Clarice Starling reached it flushed after a fast walk from Hogan’s Alley on the firing range. She had grass in her hair and grass stains on her FBI Academy windbreaker from diving to the ground under fire in an arrest problem on the range.
No one was in the outer office, so she fluffed briefly by her reflection in the glass doors. She knew she could look all right without primping. Her hands smelled of gunsmoke, but there was no time to wash—Section Chief Crawford’s summons had said now.
She found Jack Crawford alone in the cluttered suite of offices. He was standing at someone else’s desk talking on the telephone and she had a chance to look him over for the first time in a year. What she saw disturbed her.
Normally, Crawford looked like a fit, middle-aged engineer who might have paid his way through college playing baseball—a crafty catcher, tough when he blocked the plate. Now he was thin, his shirt collar was too big, and he had dark puffs under his reddened eyes. Everyone who could read the papers knew Behavioral Science section was catching hell. Starling hoped Crawford wasn’t on the juice. That seemed most unlikely here.
Crawford ended his telephone conversation with a sharp “No.” He took her file from under his arm and opened it.
“Starling, Clarice M., good morning,” he said.
“Hello.” Her smile was only polite.
“Nothing’s wrong. I hope the call didn’t spook you.”
“No.” Not totally true, Starling thought.
“Your instructors tell me you’re doing well, top quarter of the class.”
“I hope so, they haven’t posted anything.”
“I ask them from time to time.”
That surprised Starling; she had written Crawford off as a two-faced recruiting sergeant son of a bitch.
She had met Special Agent Crawford when he was a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia. The quality of his criminology seminars was a factor in her coming to the Bureau. She wrote him a note when she qualified for the Academy, but he never replied, and for the three months she had been a trainee at Quantico, he had ignored her.
Starling came from people who do not ask for favors or press for friendship, but she was puzzled and regretful at Crawford’s behavior. Now, in his presence, she liked him again, she was sorry to note.
Clearly something was wrong with him. There was a peculiar cleverness in Crawford, aside from his intelligence, and Starling had first noticed it in his color sense and the textures of his clothing, even within the FBI-clone standards of agent dress. Now he was neat but drab, as though he were molting.
“A job came up and I thought about you,” he said. “It’s not really a job, it’s more of an interesting errand. Push Berry’s stuff off that chair and sit down. You put down here that you want to come directly to Behavioral Science when you get through with the Academy.”
“I do.”
“You have a lot of forensics, but no law enforcement background. We look for six years, minimum.”
“My father was a marshal, I know the life.”
Crawford smiled a little. “What you do have is a double major in psychology and criminology, and how many summers working in a mental health center—two?”
“Two.”
“Your counselor’s license, is it current?”
“It’s good for two more years. I got it before you had the seminar at UVA—before I decided to do this.”
“You got stuck in the hiring freeze.”
Starling nodded. “I was lucky though—I found out in time to qualify as a Forensic Fellow. Then I could work in the lab until the Academy had an opening.”
“You wrote to me about coming here, didn’t you, and I don’t think I answered—I know I didn’t. I should have.”
“You’ve had plenty else to do.”
“Do you know about VI-CAP?”
“I know it’s the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. The Law Enforcement Bulletin says you’re working on a database, but you aren’t operational yet.”
Crawford nodded. “We’ve developed a questionnaire. It applies to all the known serial murderers in modern times.” He handed her a thick sheaf of papers in a flimsy binding. “There’s a section for investigators, and one for surviving victims, if any. The blue is for the killer to answer if he will, and the pink is a series of questions an examiner asks the killer, getting his reactions as well as his answers. It’s a lot of paperwork.”
Paperwork. Clarice Starling’s self-interest snuffled ahead like a keen beagle. She smelled a job offer coming—probably the drudgery of feeding raw data into a new computer system. It was tempting to get into Behavioral Science in any capacity she could, but she knew what happens to a woman if she’s ever pegged as a secretary—it sticks until the end of time. A choice was coming, and she wanted to choose well.
Crawford was waiting for something—he must have asked her a question. Starling had to scramble to recall it:
“What tests have you given? Minnesota Multiphasic, ever? Rorschach?”
“Yes, MMPI, never Rorschach,” she said. “I’ve done Thematic Apperception and I’ve given children Bender-Gestalt.”
“Do you spook easily, Starling?”
“Not yet.”
“See, we’ve tried to interview and examine all the thirty-two known serial murderers we have in custody, to build up a database for psychological profiling in unsolved cases. Most of them went along with it—I think they’re driven to show off, a lot of them. Twenty-seven were willing to cooperate. Four on death row with appeals pending clammed up, understandably. But the one we want the most, we haven’t been able to get. I want you to go after him tomorrow in the asylum.”
Clarice Starling felt a glad knocking in her chest and some apprehension too.
“Who’s the subject?”
“The psychiatrist—Dr. Hannibal Lecter,” Crawford said.
A brief silence follows the name, always, in any civilized gathering.
Starling looked at Crawford steadily, but she was too still. “Hannibal the Cannibal,” she said.
“Yes.”
“Yes, well— Okay, right. I’m glad of the chance, but you have to know I’m wondering—why me?”
“Mainly because you’re available,” Crawford said. “I don’t expect him to cooperate. He’s already refused, but it was through an intermediary—the director of the hospital. I have to be able to say our qualified examiner went to him and asked him personally. There are reasons that don’t concern you. I don’t have anybody left in this section to do it.”
“You’re jammed—Buffalo Bill—and the things in Nevada,” Starling said.
“You got it. It’s the old story—not enough warm bodies.”
“You said tomorrow—you’re in a hurry. Any bearing on a current case?”
“No. I wish there were.”
“If he balks on me, do you still want a psychological evaluation?”
“No. I’m waist-deep in inaccessible-patient evaluations of Dr. Lecter and they’re all different.”
Crawford shook two vitamin C tablets into his palm, and mixed an Alka-Seltzer at the water cooler to wash them down. “It’s ridiculous, you know; Lecter’s a psychiatrist and he writes for the psychiatric journals himself—extraordinary stuff—but it’s never about his own little anomalies. He pretended to go along with the hospital director, Chilton, once in some tests—sitting around with a blood-pressure cuff on his penis, looking at wreck pictures—then Lecter published first what he’d learned about Chilton and made a fool out of him. He responds to serious correspondence from psychiatric students in fields unrelated to his case, and that’s all he does. If he won’t talk to you, I just want straight reporting. How does he look, how does his cell look, what’s he doing. Local color, so to speak. Watch out for the press going in and coming out. Not the real press, the supermarket press. They love Lecter even better than Prince Andrew.”
“Didn’t a sleazo magazine offer him fifty thousand dollars for some recipes? I seem to remember that,” Starling said.
Crawford nodded. “I’m pretty sure the National Tattler has bought somebody inside the hospital and they may know you’re coming after I make the appointment.”
Crawford leaned forward until he faced her at a distance of two feet. She watched his half-glasses blur the bags under his eyes. He had gargled recently with Listerine.
“Now. I want your full attention, Starling. Are you listening to me?”
“Yes sir.”
“Be very careful with Hannibal Lecter. Dr. Chilton, the head of the mental hospital, will go over the physical procedure you use to deal with him. Don’t deviate from it. Do not deviate from it one iota for any reason. If Lecter talks to you at all, he’ll just be trying to find out about you. It’s the kind of curiosity that makes a snake look in a bird’s nest. We both know you have to back-and-forth a little in interviews, but you tell him no specifics about yourself. You don’t want any of your personal facts in his head. You know what he did to Will Graham.”
“I read about it when it happened.”
“He gutted Will with a linoleum knife when Will caught up with him. It’s a wonder Will didn’t die. Remember the Red Dragon? Lecter turned Francis Dolarhyde onto Will and his family. Will’s face looks like damn Picasso drew him, thanks to Lecter. He tore a nurse up in the asylum. Do your job, just don’t ever forget what he is.”
“And what’s that? Do you know?”
“I know he’s a monster. Beyond that, nobody can say for sure. Maybe you’ll find out; I didn’t pick you out of a hat, Starling. You asked me a couple of interesting questions when I was at UVA. The Director will see your own report over your signature—if it’s clear and tight and organized. I decide that. And I will have it by 0900 Sunday. Okay, Starling, carry on in the prescribed manner.”
Crawford smiled at her, but his eyes were dead.

 
Copyright © 1988 by Yazoo, Inc.
Author’s Note © 2013 by Yazoo Fabrications, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 209 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    Anonymous

    Probably the best book i have ever read. Nice and suspensful with a large handful of creepy. It is an interesting way to look at criminal profiling from the view of Agent Clarice Starling. A great book to read in the middle of the night. Highly recommend. The movie is really good also.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2003

    If there was a six-stars' rating, I'd give it to this book!

    This tale set the standard, and made Thomas Harris the standard-bearer of a new type of 'genre', if we must catagorize it, the edge-of-your-seat excitement novel which was at once a thriller, horror story, suspense novel, psychological drama, police/crime story, being none and all of these at the same time. Mr. Harris has created for us two of the most memorable characters in all of fiction of any description or from any country. It is this trilogy, and this tale in particular, that makes me sad for the people who have only seen the films, even as good as they are, and as brilliant as the performances of Sir Anthony, Jodie Foster, and Julianne Moore are. What I mean is the incredible three-dimensionality of both characters. They are not just the two-dimensional boogieman and the (generically used term) pure-blooded hero with spotless life and thoughts, and nothing but aye-jay-squared-away in thoughts, words, and deeds. These are two people, both suffering from the mental pain of their past tragedies, who have gone in opposite directions in their lives. Strangely enough (and this is, admittedly, pure opinion on my part) they are both on the same mission. S/A Starling hunts a killer who operates under his own private code; a vigilante hunting down ghosts because those he truly would delight in killing are, in all probability, long gone. Starling is a green but gifted investigator whose talents her senior, SAC Jack Crawford, eagerly makes use of, mostly because he has seen them before. Then there is Starling herself, who seems at first to be determined to feel what society says she should feel - dread, fear, loathing. The Doctor appears to follow his own established path of grab 'em, make applesauce of their minds, and drop them in a convenient gutter. Both of them are taken by surprise; their collaboration works so very well in tracking down the perp of a terrible series of crimes, but their minds also meet on a higher plane neither has experienced before. The doctor learns great respect for this 'kid' and her rapier that is quite capable of meeting his stroke for stroke. The investigator finds an admitted killer, but also what she didn't expect, and which is so perfectly portrayed in that first glimpse of Anthony Hopkins in the film. A soft-spoken, cultured gentleman who can cut you with a word, he is honorable when he realizes that here is another mind sharp enough to parry his most personal slashes at her self-esteem, and her ethics are strong enough to fend off the less-honorable who tempt her to betray a trust because that trust comes from 'the monster.' Ultimately, Starling's greatest sin is to walk away from this encounter intact, memtally and physically, and (horror of horrors!) is actually stronger and more confident for having done so. I will wager any amount or item in one soundly confident prediction: this tale, and these characters will stand the test of time alongside the characters of Jane Ayre, Treasure Island, In Cold Blood and Poe's 'Murders of the Rue Morgue' in the storied history of fictional crime. Paul Krendler's real-life portrayer in 'Hannibal' said in an interview around the tenth anniversary of 'Silence' on the movie screen that he was so amazed that people were doing doctoral dissertations on SOTL and the whole Starling-Lecter phenomenon. I'm not. Not one bit. Hi from Texas and happy reading!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Must Read

    This book was absolutely amazing. The details are unbelievable, the characters are realistic, and it's a good thriller. I enjoyed it immensly and recomend to any one! This is a must read classic!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    I recommend this book to all mystery-lovers.

    This novel is about a young FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, ¿teaming up¿ with a man in complete isolation who is known best for his psychiatric career, as well as his habit of murdering and ingesting his victims. With advice from this observant criminal, Starling is able to catch a dangerous serial murderer and rescue a young woman from what was sure to be her awful demise. This novel was a great and somewhat challenging read. I give it 5 stars for the outstanding vocabulary that filled my mind with pictures as I read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    Fantastic

    How could I give this any less than five stars? Read it in just one day because I simply couldn't put it down. Now, I want to read it a second time to savor it. I read this before I read Red Dragon, but it didn't make Red Dragon any less great when I then read it. I don't give five stars to many books, but this one rates it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2004

    The dark dive into the criminal mind is both radiantly crimson and stunningly beautiful.

    The Silence of the Lambs is as well written as it is grisly and macabre. Harris describes Lecter's character and persona with diligence and madness. Starling's learned but inexperienced character is the equal to Hannibal's cultured and intellectual vanity. A handbook for many for examples of the mind of a true sociopath. His use of symbolism with the Death's Head Moth is also a common example of how many 'complicated' killers use to represent themselves or as their calling card.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Lending

    Can someone lend this to me and tell me how and i'll lend u any book!! PLEASE!!! Respond to "bubbles"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Edge if your seat read

    Over all suspense filled book page after page

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  • Posted September 9, 2013

    Amazing book, well written, excellent read! Thomas Harris is a w

    Amazing book, well written, excellent read! Thomas Harris is a wonderful storyteller and you'll love this book for it's detail, imagination and suspense! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Person

    Loved this book i have already read it many times just to see what i may have missed before

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  • Posted July 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I know everyone goes on about how much they loved Hannibal in th

    I know everyone goes on about how much they loved Hannibal in this book, but I absolutely fell for Starling. Her inner voice came across very clear and strong while painting a very realistic view of her interactions with those around her. She's not painted as a hyper-masculine version of a woman, but her strength of will and character still come across very well, IMO.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The book was amazing! It was a also a really good movie 

    The book was amazing! It was a also a really good movie 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    I can read this book over and over

    One of my favorites

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Excelllent

    Best thriller book i have ever read.....its a good night time read.......it was soo engrossing i could barely put the book down. Excellent excellent book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Simplicity as Lector would say!

    This is such a great book. I read this book first even though it is second in the series. This tops my lists for favorite books. If you are not sure if you want to read it......READ IT!!!!! It is simply amazing!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    So good says with you long after your done reading it

    Intense scary well developed to this day i still think of this book when recalling books i enjoyd i hold this up there with girl with the dragan tatto an jarassic park

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Best book ever

    Gripping til the end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Way better than the movie

    Read this years ago..excellent

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Loved it

    Worth your time. Well written

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN

    Well I am Hannibal Lecter fan 100% so...

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 209 Customer Reviews

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