This thriller follows serial killer Hannibal Lecter's experiences as a child and young adult that led to his remarkable contribution to the fields of medicine, music, painting and forensics. The story begins during World War II at the medieval castle in Lithuania built by Dr. Lecter's forbearer, Hannibal the Grim. Hannibal survives the horrors of the Eastern Front and escapes the grim Soviet aftermath to find refuge in France with the mysterious and beautiful widow of his uncle, Lady Murasaki. Her kind and wise attentions help him understand his unbearable recollections of the war. Remembering, he finds the means to exact justice from the war criminals that changed him forever.