Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of The Lambs and The Hannibal Lecter Series, by Thomas Harris)Read about the other entries on the list.
If “evil genius” were a phrase in the dictionary, there’s a good chance the definition would include a picture of Hannibal Lecter. Part of what terrifies us so much about him is his grisly taste for human flesh (he even pairs it with fancy wines!), but this proclivity can be understood as merely the manifestation of Hannibal’s desire to dissect, possess, and consume his victims psychologically. We have no trouble believing that, had Dr. Lecter used his clinical cunning for good, he would have been a superb psychotherapist. Instead, it’s up to Agent Starling to get inside Lecter’s mind without letting him take control of her own.
The Silence of The Lambs is among sixteen book-to-movie adaptations that won Academy Awards. Red Dragon appears on Kimberly Turner's list of the ten most disturbing sociopaths in literature and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best dragons in literature and ten of the best tattoos in literature, and the (U.K.) Telegraph 110 best books; Andre Gross says "it should be taught as [a text] in Thriller 101."