Author: Thomas Harris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
There's a killer on the loose who knows that beauty is only skin deep, and a trainee investigator who's trying to save her own hide. The only man that can help is locked in an asylum. But he's willing to put a brave face on - if it will help him escape.
The Silence of The Lambs is Harris’ second novel which features Dr. Hannibal “Hannibal the Cannibal” Lecter. The story now revolves around FBI trainee Clarice Starling. Jack Crawford, the head of the Behavioral Science unit of the FBI gave Starling an errand to give questionnaire to Dr. Lecter. Dr. Lecter was a brilliant and respected forensic psychiatrist who also a cannibalistic sociopath. He turned to be a nemesis of Jack Crawford after he suggested Francis “The Tooth Fairy” Dolarhyde to kill Crawford’s protege, Will Graham (Red Dragon, Hannibal Lecter #1). Meanwhile, Crawford had another serial killer case to take care of. This serial killer, called “Buffalo Bill”, had killed several overweight women, skinned them, and then threw the bodies in rivers. Crawford included Starling into the case. Through the investigation, Crawford ordered Starling to talk to Dr. Lecter in search of information to solve the case. But, as Dr. Lecter said, Quid pro quo, Starling had to give something to Lecter such as her childhood story. They began to develop a peculiar relationship. A senator then expressed an intense interest to the case because her daughter was kidnapped by Buffalo Bill. FBI had to move fast. The investigation went smoothly until Dr. Frederic Chilton, the asylum administrator and Dr. Lecter’s enemy, stepped in. Everything went to chaos and Dr. Lecter saw this as a big opportunity to get what he wanted, break away. The book ended with the resolution of Dr. Lecter’s attempt to break away and Starling’s attempt to catch Buffalo Bill.
The Silence of The Lambs is a novel that has been adapted into movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Actually, this is my second time reading the book. I have read it years before and it still haunts me. That’s why I read it again without ignoring the details. Harris wonderfully describes the personality of each characters of the story. Other interesting point is Crawford’s dilemmatic problem where he had to choose between Dr. Lecter’s ego, Chilton’s ambition, Senator Martin’s worry about her daughter, and Catherine Martin’s life. The way Dr. Lecter gave Starling clues for finding Buffalo Bill was entertaining. He tried to make him looked genius and brilliant. He played with Starling’s mind and I think he had an unnatural attraction to her. Even though Dr. Lecter was a “monster”, I could say that he seemed more humane when he was talking to Starling. Maybe it sounds a bit creepy but I admire Dr. Lecter’s complicated mind. He’s one of the best fictional character that ever been made.