In his first novel not centered on Hannibal Lecter in 44 years, bestseller Harris (The Silence of the Lambs) unveils a new villain, killer Hans-Peter Schneider, who rents a house in Miami Beach, Fla., that once belonged to Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in order to find the gold hidden beneath it. Cari Mora, a beautiful woman who survived a childhood as a conscript in FARC, the Colombian guerilla army, is the home’s caretaker, and Schneider, to whom the “sound of a woman crying is... music” and who uses a liquid cremation machine to dispose of his prey, immediately regards her as a potential victim. When Schneider and Mora first meet, she catches a “whiff of brimstone off him.” Few surprises mark the ensuing duel between the misogynistic sadist and the femme fatale, who learned certain skills from FARC that come in handy in their predictable showdown. The absence of Harris’s usual superior storytelling will dismay fans, but the main problem is that Schneider doesn’t come close to matching Lecter as a memorable monster. One can only hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Morton Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (May
"The best of Harris's work, and this includes his latest, long-awaited novel, Cari Mora, has just that feeling of absolute, unquestionable reality. Through a combination of elementsa perfectly realized authorial voice, the steady accumulation of terrible details, an empathetic vision of lost and damaged soulsHarris has created a sense of dreadful intimacy that we cannot escape, that forces us to gaze at unthinkable things, and never look away. No one has illuminated this kind of darkness more thoroughly or effectively than Harris. It seems unlikely that anyone ever will."The Washington Post
"This page-turner begins intensely, builds in suspense then executes a high-action finale . . . Harris writes in cinematic takes and doesn't waste words . . . a good, fiendish read."USA Today
"A less accomplished or ambitious writer might have crafted a worthy thriller with only one or two of the story strands that Mr.
Harris weaves; but the several plot elements in Cari Mora are always in fine balance, as befits the work of a unique master still at the top of his strange and chilling form."Wall Street Journal
"[Cari Mora] is delectable . .
. as well as smart and tough and emotionally and physically scarred, all of which makes her a worthy adversary for the various monsters."New York Times Book Review
"Cari Mora is Harris' response to the Me Too movement. He already has proven his mastery of complex female characters in the form of Clarice Starling, but the protagonist and title character here takes things to another level . . . The result is a novel that is extremely well-written from start to finish and gives us a heroine to both root for and respect."Bookreporter.com
"[Thomas Harris's] latest is another penetrating exploration of signature themesthe nature of evil, the persistence of trauma, and the strange, fateful gravity that so often seems to exist between individuals on either side of law and morality . . . It's an electric setup, and Harris handles the suspense as finely as you would expect from one of the genre's foremost practitioners. Cari Mora will keep readers up all night in the best possible way."CrimeReads
"Harris builds the plot skillfully, with violence and betrayal punctuated by moments of calm and reminiscence. The contest for the gold turns into a fight for survival that rockets to the final pages. Cari Mora is a pulse-pounding thriller, and Cari is an engagingly badass character."Tampa Bay Times
"Cari Mora is at its best as a sustained meditation on the ineffable extent of humankind's capacity for brutality in the name of personal gain... carries an irony befitting Harris's ongoing consideration of how light and dark are often interchangeable."Slant Magazine
"It's vintage Harris, with nice twists and elegant ways of expressing just how bad bad people can be . . . Refreshingly, entertainingly creepy and with nary a fava bean in sight."Kirkus Reviews
"The heist story that makes up the bulk of Cari Mora is inventive and crisp,
with a prose style that owes less to the floridness of the last two Hannibal novels than it does to the late and much-lamented Elmore Leonard."Slate
"Harris explores the dark side of human passion in this pulse-pounding novel. His first book in 13 years, Cari Mora will not disappoint fans of disturbing, taut thrillers."BookPage
"For Thomas Harris fans, Cari Mora will be comfort food: whimsically brutal and odd and silly, lacking only Hannibal's signature cannibalism."Oregonian
"With Cari Mora, Harris does what he does besttakes us on a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat ride steeped in intrigue and nail-biting suspense. You will not sleep. You will not eat. This book screams to be devoured in one sitting."
"There is no doubting that Mr. Harris is the undisputed king of memorable grotesquerie . . . one has no choice but to recommend Mr. Harris's highly skilled performance."The East Hampton Star
"Harris's characters are interesting, and his meticulous research impressive . . . an adept novel."Winnipeg Free Press
Morbid mysterian Harris (Hannibal Rising, 2006, etc.) returns with a trademark mix of murderous psychopaths and morally iffy good guys.
Lesson No. 1: Don't mess with a determined Colombian woman, especially not one with combat experience and no fear of dying. The title character is a case in point: 25, pretty, though with scars that speak to a terrible past. Under the watchful eye of the immigration authorities, she works several jobs, including managing a luxurious Miami property with a murky title, a property that was once owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar and under which he tucked away a trove of gold ingots. Enter Hans-Peter Schneider, a decidedly nasty fellow in the tradition of other Harris villains. Hans-Peter has fangs with "silver in them that shows when he smiles" and is otherwise rather vampiric in aspect, and he has a thing for harvesting organs and selling women into slavery. He's after that gold, and Cari is a mere inconvenience to be dealt with in due time, minus a limb or two, perhaps. So it is with Cari's pool cleaner friend Antonio, anyway, who winds up an object of Hans-Peter's attention: "These were Antonio's legs. That was Antonio's torso. His head was missing." Things get ickier still as heads explode, bob around in liquid cremation machines, and otherwise undergo assorted unpleasantries. Hans-Peter isn't the only one after the gold, of course, and then there are the rising waters thanks to climate change, waters that have burrowed their way under the mansion. It's a race against time—and crocodiles, and all the other ways of dying unhappily in South Florida. It's vintage Harris, with nice twists and elegant ways of expressing just how bad bad people can be. Suffice it to say that, as the story winds to a blood-soaked close, some of the principals probably won't be showing up in a sequel.
Refreshingly, entertainingly creepy and with nary a fava bean in sight.