Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
This was the very last book I bought in the UK, and let me just say that I am so glad I did. I'd had the Millenium Trilogy on my TBR list for a long, long time, but never got around to picking it up until my studies were done and I really had some downtime. I was totally shocked by the story of its author, Stieg Larsson, who died shortly after delivering the manuscripts for "The Millenium Trilogy" to his editor. Sadly, he never got to see the worldwide success that his books acquired.
The first of his novels, I must say, started out rather slow. It took three weeks to get through the first 200 pages, with other books in between. However, once all the back story had been fleshed out, and the mystery really started going, I had finished the book in 2 days. Larsson is clearly a master of suspense and intrigue.
The book follows three main plotlines. First and most prevelent is that of Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist who has just been convicted of libel. He thought he was publishing a revealing new expose on one of Sweden's most influential CEOs, but his information was quite wrong. Though it looks like his career is going completely downhill after the trial, he is soon hired by Henrik Vanger, a retired entrepeneur. Vanger is convinced that his favorite niece, Harriet, was murdered almost fifty years ago and wants Blomkvist to continue the long-dead investigation into her disappearance. Lastly, there is the story of Lisbeth Salander, a mysterious, troubled young woman living in Stockholm. She works for a private investigator's company and her skills are unmatched. When Lisbeth joins Blomkvist on the case to find Harriet, they discover the shocking truth behind her disappearance.
Like I said, the plot didn't really thicken until about 200 pages in, but when it did, boy did things get good. Larsson clearly has a great gift for story-telling, and his knowledge of the financial stories that Blomkvist was investigating was really incredible. It felt like you were reading a true account, a story of fact, instead of a fiction. Where other crime books glaze over some of the more tricky plot areas, this novel convered all the bases and was truly inspired. I really can't wait to pick up the next one!
Price: $14.95, paperback