the brilliant flesh-eating psychopath, Hannibal Lecter. Famously reclusive, the publicity-shy Harris is reportedly (and thankfully) far different from his signature character, who made his first appearance in the writer's second thriller novel, <i>Red Dragon</i> (1981). Already a bankable scribe, thanks to the success of his debut, <i>Black Sunday</i> (1975), and its high-profile 1977 movie adaptation, Harris saw <i>Red Dragon</i> hit the screens as Michael Mann's "Manhunter" (1986), with initially underwhelming response. His third novel, <i>The Silence of the Lambs</i> (1988), was a huge hit, however, and made Lecter a key character. Its 1991 film version, marking the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins as the manipulative cannibal, proved to be both a critical darling and box-office smash, resulting in a cultural breakthrough for the actor and character, as well as Harris himself. Though Harris' post-<i>Lambs</i> output of <i>Hannibal</i> (1999) and <i>Hannibal Rising</i> (2006) were major publishing events, their poor critical reception diminished the author's reputation somewhat. However, the tense strengths of his pre-1990s work ensured that Harris was still considered a master of the thriller genre.