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Word Count: 1,703
The innocent title Silence of the Lambs totally belies the content of this novel by American writer Thomas Harris It is an eerie tale of a young female FBI academy student Clarice Starling who with the help of institutionalised psychologist Dr Hannibal The Cannibal Lector strives to ensnare the seemingly insane and bloodthirsty serial killer Jame Gumb alias Buffalo Bill To describe the novel as a thriller or crime story would be insulting Harris has entwined complex undertones with the basic storyline which cause the story to turn positively horrific at times The most frightening aspect of the book is the constant insights Harris gives into the tangled and twisted mind of the killer In so many other novels of this genre the detective takes centre stage leaving the murderer as a background figure who the reader knows little or nothing about However in Silence of the Lambs Harris constantly tells us of Buffalo Bills thoughts emotions and background bringing him into the spotlight as a main character and in my opinion effectively making him appear much more sinister and threatening Buffalo Bill - conveyed to us by Harris in the form of a white male brown haired and blue eyed six feet one thirty four years of age with no distinguishing marks A transvestite who in the privacy of his own home dresses up in womens clothing and practices feminine behaviour Hormones and electrolysis have done a little for his body hair and shape but he still looks like a man one who in Harriss words looks inclined to fight with his nails as well as his fists and feet Victims of Buffalo Bill are commonly found floating in rivers with variously shaped patches of their skin flayed Without fail the killers talisman is present a rare Deaths Head moth lodged in the rear of the throat Drowning is never the cause of death as discovered by the coroner in the
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