Book Review: The Silence of the Lambs

There are many psychological horror novels but one novel that is near the top of the list is The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. It is the second novel in the series and has become a mainstream phenomenon over the decades.

The Silence of the Lambs: Summary

The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs

First released in 1988, the novel follows student and temporary Special Agent Clarice Starling as she interviews the incarcerated serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Jack Crawford, the head of the FBI division, sends Starling, who is an FBI trainee, to interview the best forensic psychiatrist who also happens to have an appetite for humans. 

The FBI needs help catching Buffalo Bill, a serial killer who skins his victims. Starling’s job is to get Lecter to give insight on Buffalo Bill. Lector however isn’t cooperating and plays by his own terms. How much can Sterling get out of a madman who also happens to be a genius?

Time is not on Sterling’s side as she is given a few days to follow her leads. That becomes twice as hard for her as her finals are around the corner. That is not her only fear as she is warned Crawford will use her and toss her aside once everything is wrapped up. And Sterling has to figure out who Buffalo Bill is before he strikes again. 

Conclusion

Harris has written a book that will leave you turning the page until the end. There are a lot of things going on and a lot of focus on multiple characters that builds the suspense up perfectly. Sterling is a great protagonist and Thomas showcases how much more a female has to put up with. 

We are also shown that there can be bad apples on both sides. Lecter is not the only villain and as in the first book Red Dragon, we see people with selfish motives almost jeopardize the mission. The serial killers may be monsters but Thomas paints a world where there are a lot of people with shortcomings and lesser evils.

Yes, I know this novel is about Hannibal Lecter but Thomas’ writing focuses on so much more. Lecter is as brilliant as he is portrayed in t.v. shows and movies. He is fascinating and cunning and as readers, we are drawn to a character like him who jumps out of the pages.  

I enjoyed reading this novel and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Lector. Now, I will be reading the last novel in the trilogy and seeing Lector as the main villain instead of him mostly sitting around.

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