The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Translator: Reg Keeland

Reeling from his conviction of libel (which he is convinced was a setup), journalist Carl Blomkvist makes a temporary retreat from the public eye. But that doesn’t mean he’s given up, by any means. He’s been offered a job by wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger to research and ghost write the Vanger’s family history–with a significant financial reward at the end in addition to the promise of information that will prove Blomkvist was right about Wennerström (the man he was accused of libeling). But there’s a catch: Blomkvist also has to promise to investigate the disappearance of Vanger’s niece–a disappearance that occurred over 40 years before!  Joined by Lisbeth Salander (a hacker who Vanger had originally hired to investigate him, but who dug up secret information so well that Blomkvist was convinced to bring her on board), Carl digs through old photographs, police reports, and notes, never actually expecting to discover anything. . . .

While not my usual style, I found The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to be quite an interesting read. It’s a blend of journalistic intrigue, corporate corruption, murder mystery, and thriller that is intricately developed yet moves well, never becoming bogged down. It was interesting for me to read a book set in Sweden by a Swedish author–I honestly have never read much Scandinavian literature at all, so the experience was neat. The Blomkvist/Salander pairing was unexpected and unusual–in a good way. I think they complemented each other and worked together well–and really one of the parts of the story I enjoyed most was Salander’s gradually being able to trust him. I also respect the author’s emphasis on bringing the abuse of women to light–that’s something that seems to be too often brushed under the carpet for someone else to deal with. I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an interesting and refreshing mystery/thriller that would be enjoyable for most adult readers (just be aware of mature content: violence and sex).


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