"The Little boy Hannibal died in 1945 out there in the snow trying to save his sister. His heart died with Mischa. What is he now? There's not a word for it yet. For lack of a better word, we'll call him monster." - Hannibal Rising
Hannibal Rising is written by Thomas Harris, the author of the three previous Hannibal books: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal.
As it's title indicates, this books chronicles the beginnings of the now infamous Dr. Lector. It begins just before Hitler's Armies invade Eastern Europe, and ends ten years later when a young Hannibal takes vengeance on those soldiers that killed his family.
If you're looking for a detective novel or a psychological thriller, you're reading the wrong book. These are Hannibal's early years, and it doesn't get much into the workings and logic of his twisted, brilliant mind. Instead, it gives the reader an overview as to how Hannibal became the sweet, caring man he is today. Of all the Thomas Harris books, I like this one the best.
(Are you happy Brent? I posted.)