Sunday, April 5, 2009

Review... The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The first in what is to be a trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was a book I just couldn't put down - not because it was such an exciting read, but because the story just gripped me. At the start we meet disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist who is hired by wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger to solve the disappearance (and possible murder) of his favorite grand niece Harriet Vanger. (btw, Blomkvist is disgraced because as an editor of a political magazine and self proclaimed crusader for justice he "was at the wrong end of a libel case" against someone who use to work for Henrik Vanger).

Along the way to solving the mystery, Blomkvist picks up a research assistant who looks like a teenage punk rocker (with multiple tattoos). Quiet, tough, ruthless and a bit of a loner, we find out that Lisbeth Salander is so much more than her rough exterior... and I just love her! As we turn the pages to discover all the clues to the main mystery of Harriet Vanger's disappearance, we also begin to unravel the mystery behind Lisbeth, whose tough exterior begins to soften up just a little so we can see the vulnerable side of her. She is a wonderful character, who you'll find yourself rooting for every time she encounters a bump in her world, and in fact the second book of this trilogy, "The Girl Who Played with Fire", 'stars' Lisbeth.

The story takes place in Sweden, the country of origin of the author, and it would do one good to get out a map of Sweden to see where the various towns are that are referred to in the story. And a family tree helps too - but that you can find just before chapter one of the book. It gets a bit confusing because there are a LOT of Vanger family members, but if you can get over this one flaw, this book is truly worth your time! A good solid read, but Larsson does make you work a little to get thru this book because it's more like a leisurely walk in the park not a morning run. Loved the characters more and more as I kept reading. With plot twists and turns, you won't be disappointed. And the ending... well let's just say I wanted to go out and buy book 2 right then and there, but I COULDN'T! Us folks in the US will have to wait until July for it to be published here....

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