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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 "The Silence of the Lambs-"and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.
Described by his Uncle James as "plain as an ordinary shoe," Thomas Harris, writer and creator of arguably the world's most horrifying literary character, was born in 1940 in Jackson, Tennessee. He led a simple boyhood as the only child of a science teacher mother and a father who worked as a farmer and as an electrical engineer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. While majoring in English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Harris worked the graveyard shift covering the police beat for the Waco News-Tribune. According to reports, it was there that the author first acquired a taste for the "underside of things," covering murders along the Texas-Mexico border. In 1968, Harris moved to New York City and began writing for the Associated Press. He also married around that time and had a daughter, Anne. By 1972, he and his wife divorced, at which time Harris and two AP co-workers, inspired by the slaying of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, created a story about Palestinian terrorists hijacking the Goodyear blimp over the Super Bowl. From that, Harris' 1975 bestseller BLACK SUNDAY was conceived. Though not a prolific writer, Harris' subsequent tales of inner darkness and extreme violence have nevertheless penetrated the conscience of readers and moviegoers alike. All four of his novels--which also include RED DRAGON (1981), THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1988), and HANNIBAL (1999)--have been major bestsellers and have been adapted for the screen. However, it was the 1991 film version of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS that really made household names of Harris and his Hannibal Lecter character, better known as Hannibal the Cannibal. Fans hungry for more accounts of Hannibal's brand of terror waited 10 years before feasting on HANNIBAL, the best-selling sequel to SILENCE. Anticipation for this next installment was so great that copies of HANNIBAL had to be locked away in safes and confidentiality agreements had to be signed by the privileged few that saw the manuscript prior to its publication date. Despite the hype surrounding his books, Harris is known as a recluse by the media and refuses to do publicity tours or interviews. In a most monstrous fashion, he also refuses to entertain any editing suggestions on his writing. Those who know Harris, however, describe him as "quiet," "studious," and "a big, gentle bear of a man."
From the Publisher
Clarice Starling, an F.B.I. agent searching for an elusive serial killer, turns to a convicted psychopath for help. Dr. Hannibal Lecter--known as "Hannibal the Cannibal" due to his predilection for the taste of human flesh--is aware of his position of power, and manipulates Starling's mind and emotions and he slowly reveals one demented clue after another, leading her closer to the killer, as well as the edge of her own sanity.
FBI Academy trainee Clarice Starling hopes that Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a criminally insane psychiatrist imprisoned in a Boston hospital, can lead her to the serial killer known only as Buffalo Bill.