Adult Fiction | Horror (adult) | Mystery (adult) | Thriller (adult)

Review: Hannibal by Thomas Harris (#3 Hannibal Lecter)

12. June 2018



Years after his escape, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family’s palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel’s action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes her the fall guy.

Clarice is suspended, so, unfortunately, the first cop who stumbles on Hannibal is an Italian named Pazzi, who takes after his ancestors, greedy betrayers depicted in Dante’s Inferno. Pazzi is on the take from a character as scary as Hannibal: Mason Verger. When Verger was a young man busted for raping children, his vast wealth saved him from jail. All he needed was psychotherapy–with Dr. Lecter.

Thanks to the treatment, Verger is now on a respirator, paralyzed except for one crablike hand, watching his enormous, brutal moray eel swim figure eights and devour fish. His obsession is to feed Lecter to some other brutal pets.




As much as I loved Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, I was constantly wanting Hannibal to be a larger part of the story. At the same time I was terrified that Thomas Harris would put him in it too much because I just didn’t know if he could pull off writing Hannibal from his point of view.

Hannibal was good, I mean I read it in just a few days which is unusual when it comes to books this size. It intrigued me from the beginning, and boy did this book include more disturbing things than the previous one’s. What is good about this book is the fact that we get to see things from Clarice Starling’s point of view, Detective Pazzi, Hannibal Lecter and Mason Verger. All four crucial in this story.

What Thomas Harris does so well is that his characters are never good nor bad. His characters are so in the grey zone that you never really know who to root for. Clarice Starling is starting to care for Hannibal Lecter, Detective Pazzi decides to pursue his own happiness rather than doing the morally right thing, Hannibal Lecter reveals his softer sides, and Mason Verger was once a decent guy.

The book is so long though, and all though a lot of it makes sense, it’s also a lot of boring chapters in between. I understand the necessity to building these characters – Harris is after all introducing a lot of new people and we need to get to know them. But, after all this book is more about Hannibal and his character, and I loved his appearances throughout the book. I liked getting inside his head more, and the story itself is so realistic. I loved the plot.

I absolutely recommend this series to anyone obsessed with serial killers!


  • When we realized Hannibal knew that Pazzi was after him
  • When Hannibal kills Pazzi like his ancestors
  • When Hannibal totally licked Starling’s car’s steering wheel thinking that it tastes like her
  • When Margot killed Mason
  • The “last supper” with Starling, Hannibal and Kendler

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