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Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris

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Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front of World War II, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck.

He will not speak of what happened to him and his family. He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him. Hannibal's uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France.

There, Hannibal lives with his uncle and his uncle's beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki, who helps him to heal - and flourish. But Hannibal's demons are not so easily defeated. Throughout his young life, they visit him and torment him.

When he is old enough, he visits them in turn - and in the fog of traumatic memory, he discovers that he has gifts far beyond what he imagined...