Edited May 26: OK, now that I have a computer back I just want to add to this some. I wish I could vote this book zero stars. Or even just a half star. This is SOOOOO bad.
I don't even know how it became so awful. It was all going fine, the beginning of the book seemed the same as the last two. Maybe the larger cast of PoV characters made things more confusing, and the constant locale changing too, but it was decent?
But then! The last few chapters, as soon as it gets to the farm, felt like a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BOOK. The writing quality plummeted completely and just... Clarice's character changed so suddenly, for no good or apparent reason. Other than apparently drugs and daddy issues. I don't even know what was going on. What was Harris thinking, did he just... completely blank on a good ending and went with what I would have taken for bad, wish-fulfilment fanfiction?
Clarice was an important character for me because she was a woman in a male-dominated field who was well-written, whose narrative did not erase the fact of sexism in our lives but constantly brought it to light and challenged it. And then it ends her story with one of the most gross romance cliches I can think of. "She loves him, she loves this sick and twisted cannibal, because she has daddy issues."
I'm going to pretend the last few chapters did not happen. I'm going to pretend Hannibal was eaten by the pigs, Clarice brought Mason and Krendler's plottings to light, everyone who needs to be arrested is, Krendler is totally ruined for life, and Clarice regains her honor and the respect of her peers (to a point) and continues to do good work in the police force.
Not... that ending.
I'm just really angry because I loved the first two so much for once and then a good series has to end with this crap.