Red Dragon Read online





  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Foreword

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48

  Chapter 49

  Chapter 50

  Chapter 51

  Chapter 52

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54

  “The best popular novel to be published

  in America since The Godfather.”

  —Stephen King

  RED DRAGON

  “A chilling, tautly written, and well-realized psychological thriller.”—Saturday Review

  “Irresistible . . . A shattering thriller . . . Readers should buckle themselves in for a long night’s read because from the first pages . . . Harris grabs hold.”

  —Publishers Weekly

  “The scariest book of the season.”

  —The Washington Post Book World

  “Easily the crime novel of the year.”—Newsday

  “Red Dragon is an engine designed for one purpose—to make the pulse pound, the heart palpitate, the fear glands secrete.”—The New York Times Book Review

  “A gruesome, graphic, gripping thriller . . . extraordinarily harrowing.—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

  “Warning! If you’re subject to nightmares, don’t read it!”—Colorado Springs Sun

  “Want to faint with fright? Want to have your hair stand on end? Want to read an unforgettable thriller with equal parts of horror and suspense?”

  —New York Daily News

  Titles by Thomas Harris

  BLACK SUNDAY

  RED DRAGON

  THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

  HANNIBAL

  THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada

  (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

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  (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

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  (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,

  South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  RED DRAGON

  A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author

  Copyright © 1981 by Yazoo Fabrications, Inc.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form

  without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in

  violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  eISBN : 978-1-440-65779-5

  BERKLEY®

  Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  BERKLEY® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  http://us.penguingroup.com

  One can only see what one observes,

  and one observes only things

  which are already in the mind.

  —ALPHONSE BERTILLON

  ... For Mercy has a human heart,

  Pity a human face,

  And Love, the human form divine,

  And Peace, the human dress.

  —WILLIAM BLAKE, Songs of Innocence

  (The Divine Image)

  Cruelty has a Human Heart,

  and Jealousy a Human Face,

  Terror the Human Form Divine,

  and Secrecy the Human Dress.

  The Human Dress is forged Iron,

  The Human Form a fiery Forge,

  The Human Face a Furnace seal’d,

  The Human Heart its hungry Gorge.

  —WILLIAM BLAKE, Songs of Experience

  (A Divine Image)1

  FOREWORD TO A FATAL INTERVIEW

  I want to tell you the circumstances in which I first encountered Hannibal Lecter, M.D.

  In the fall of 1979, owing to an illness in my family, I returned home to the Mississippi Delta and remained there eighteen months. I was working on Red Dragon. My neighbor in the village of Rich kindly gave me the use of a shotgun house in the center of a vast cotton field, and there I worked, often at night.

  To write a novel, you begin with what you can see and then you add what came before and what came after. Here in the village of Rich, Mississippi, working under difficult circumstances, I could see the investigator Will Graham in the home of the victim family, in the house where they all died, watching the dead family’s home movies. I did not know at the time who was committing the crimes. I pushed to find out, to see what came before and what came after. I went through the home, the crime scene, in the dark with Will and could see no more and no less than he could see.

  Sometimes at night I would leave the lights on in my little house and walk across the flat fields. When I looked back from a distance, the house looked like a boat at sea, and all around me the vast Delta night.

  I soon became acquainted with the semi-feral dogs who roamed free across the fields in what was more or less a pack. Some of them had casual arrangements with the families of farm workers, but much of the time they had to forage for themselves. In the hard winter months with the ground frozen and dry, I started giving them dog food and soon they were going through fifty pounds of dog food a week. They followed me around, and they were