The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Not many books to movie adaptations do justice, but this is definitely how you go about it
First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling. Its film adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme was released in 1991 to box office success and critical acclaim. Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, is asked to carry out an errand by Jack Crawford, the head of the FBI division that draws up psychological profiles of serial killers. Starling is to present a questionnaire to the brilliant forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter. Lecter is serving nine consecutive life sentences in a Maryland mental institution for a series of murders.
“Razor-sharp entertainment, beautifully constructed and brilliantly written. Thrillers don't come any better than this.” ―Clive Barker
“A virtual textbook on the craft of suspense, a masterwork of sheer momentum that rockets seamlessly toward its climax... Harris is quite simply the best suspense novelist working today.” ―The Washington post
“A psychological thriller so deftly woven and gripping that a reader can hardly get through one sentence fast enough to discover what's in the next.” ―Associated Press