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Between the lines

Amid great secrecy, and after years of anonymous labour, here comes Thomas Harris's latest Hannibal Lecter novel. But do readers still care?

By Jason Cowley   November 2006

A feast of fiction Thomas Harris returns in early December with the fourth novel in his remarkably successful series about the murderous psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. Through the film adaptations of Harris’s work, Lecter—snob, gourmand, aesthete and murderer—has become perhaps the defining Hollywood anti-hero of our time, a contemporary Dracula. Before Lecter, serial killers were portrayed in literature and film as sad and feeble degenerates, outcasts with little cultural sophistication. Since Lecter, it has become almost obligatory for them to have a PhD and a highly refined aesthetic sensibility.

The new novel, Hannibal Rising, returns to Lecter’s childhood and adolescence in…

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