Red Dragon

Author: Thomas Harris
Book #1 of Series: Hannibal Lecter
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Published year: 1981


In the backstory of 1981's Red Dragon, FBI profiler Will Graham interviews Lecter about one of his patients who was murdered by a serial killer, before intuiting that Lecter is the culprit. Realizing that Graham is on to him, Lecter creeps up behind Will and slashes him with a linoleum knife, nearly disemboweling him. Graham survives, but is so traumatized by the incident that he takes early retirement from the FBI. Lecter is charged with a series of nine murders, but is found not guilty by reason of insanity. He is institutionalized in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane under the care of Dr. Frederick Chilton, a pompous, incompetent psychologist whom he despises. Some years later, Graham comes out of retirement and consults Lecter in order to catch another serial killer, Francis Dolarhyde, known by the nickname "The Tooth Fairy". Through the classifieds of a tabloid called The National Tattler, Lecter provides Dolarhyde with Graham's home address, enabling Dolarhyde to disfigure Graham and attempt to kill his family. At the end of the novel, Lecter sends Graham a taunting note saying that he hopes Graham isn't "too ugly".