Of course, you remember him, the serial killer who eats his victims in the film based on Thomas Harris’s classic thriller. Before Lecter’s capture, he was a respected forensic psychiatrist. Once incarcerated, FBI agents consult with him to find other serial killers.
Crime writers, to leave the reader satisfied with their story, make sure their villains get their just desserts. They may be apprehended or killed at the climax. But if they are truly worthy opponents, they might escape, perhaps to return soon in another story. Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis, is another antagonist who lives on as the man Holmes calls “the Napoleon of crime.” The reader, however, is satisfied with the hope that the hero and villain will meet again and then the hero will win.
The villain in Miriam bat Isaac’s adventure, THE DEADLIEST THIEF, a finalist for the 2020 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award, also escapes. Not because of might, not even because of brilliance or accomplishments, but perhaps because the character has already suffered enough. You be the judge. For a little help, click here.