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Book review: Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris might have risen to cult figure status with his maniacal creation Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs, and fallen low when giving Dr Lector a noble backstory in Hannibal, but that`s another story.
 
It was Harris` Red Dragon that I found a terrifying but compelling read. I recall my hands shaking as I read that book, totally in dread of what the serial killer with the red dragon tattooed on his back would do next to his hapless victims, but also totally in thrall to the story.
 
Harris` CARI MORA (his first novel in 13 years) isn’t in quite the same league as either The Silence…or Red Dragon.
Here too, the villain is a man of terrifying appearance, hairless due to some genetic problem, and a master planner on what exactly he would do with the women he trafficked dead or alive, however which way his clients wanted.
 
And the eponymous heroine here is in her own way as strong as Clarice Starling; Cari Mora a Columbian with a secret past as a Farc guerrilla, who is one of the countless migrants who have crept into Miami, and is now caretaker in a bungalow that once belonged to Pablo Escobar. There are rumours of a booby-trapped safe with millions in gold somewhere beneath the bungalow… ah, you see where the story is going, don`t you?
 
Very soon, the reader realises Cari isn’t your average hapless heroine, and the fight she puts up for her body and her life is hell of a good one.
 
Except, the terror element, subtle or otherwise, that used to be the lifeblood of a Thomas Harris story, is missing here.
For those who want to know: no Hannibal here but there is a touch of cannibalism.
 
Read if you are a Harris fan.
book reviewCaro Moriterror elementThomas Harristhriller

Sheila Kumar • August 19, 2020


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