Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
(Millennium Series #1)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Fiction
First published: August 2005
Finished reading: March 15th 2013
(Originally written in Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor)
“I’ve had many enemies over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back.”
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially when they decided to make two movie versions of the book. The first one in Swedish was a lot better than the Hollywood version though; somehow the main characters (like Daniel Craig interpreting Mikael Blomkvist) weren’t as believable. Plus, I really enjoy how the Swedish language sounds and I even learned a few words over the years… The book was actually a re-read, and I enjoyed it as much as the first time. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is full of action. Although it is at some times almost too disturbing, I was sucked into the story and it was hard to stop reading. Lisbeth Salander is definitely a woman with balls and I admire all her quirky and crazy ways, even though I sometimes don’t agree with her actions. This book is a great read and it definitey won’t bore you!
Mikael Blomkvist is a financial journalist with an important problem. When he makes some serious accusations of lawbreaking by a big name in the Swedish Industry, they sue him and Mikael loses the case. Just as he doesn’t know what to do next, a legend in the Swedish Industry contacts him with the message that he has the information he needs to prove his was right all along. We then get introduced to a mystery involving the disappearance of the daughter of the famous Hendrik Vanger some forty years ago. Hendrik Vanger hires him to investigate the disappearance and promises Mikael to give the information he needs, but only after a full year of research. The body of Harriet Vanger was never found, but Hendrik strongly believes someone within his family killed the poor girl… And he asks Mikael to investigate under the pretext he is writing Hendrik’s memoir.
Mikael moves to the island where the Vanger clan have lived for ages, and a computer hacker called Lisbeth Salander is also hired to investigate. Lisbeth is not the typical woman and quite an outcast with her piercings, interesting choice of clothing and many tattoos. She is mostly misunderstood and in fact a genius, even though she has some problems expressing herself as she is autistic. Together, Mikael and Lisbeth are able to find a link between Harriet’s disappearance and some murders that took place forty years ago, and they realize they are in danger. When they reveal more and more of the dark family secrets, someone is trying to stop them from uncovering the truth… With dangerous consequences.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an entertaining read and a fast pace that will make you want to continue reading until you finish it. Stieg Larsson was without doubt a talented writer and it’s a shame he passed away so soon. I have read the whole trilogy previously and rereading it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The Swedish movie version is recommendable as well!