Book Review - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
OK, so I'm a little late to the phenomenon that is Stieg Larsson and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This book, and in fact the whole Girl trilogy, seemed to come out of nowhere and reach a fevered pitch in a very short period of time. I find it even more amazing that it did so as a novel that had to be translated into English after the author's death. Regardless, I finally got a copy and started reading... and was immediately hooked. Larsson mixes a criminal mystery plot with a number of very dark characters to come up with a story that was very hard to put down. All of the characters are flawed in some way or another, and the main character, Lisbeth Salander, is exceptionally dark but well-written. Her past is mysterious, and she has some severe emotional and psychological issues that go with her incredible intelligence. She hooks up with Mikael Blomkvist, a Swedish journalist who wrote a scathing expose of a financial giant, only to find himself on the wrong end of a libel suit for his story. Blomkvist finds someone who will give him the information he needs to finish what his article started, but he has to solve a decades-old missing persons case first before his source will reveal his knowledge. Salander takes an interest in the case (after hacking her way into certain files to find out more about Blomkvist), and it's with her unconventional methods that he's able to find certain clues that have gone undiscovered until now. Add in some unexpected twists and tension at the end, and it had everything I look for in a memorable novel.
If you like your mysteries to be gritty and uncomfortable, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will definitely be to your liking. I know a couple people who didn't like the story at all because of the subject matter and the morality of the characters, so you might want to keep that in mind if that sort of material bothers you. But my guess is that once you get started, you might as well get used to the fact that you're going to be up later than normal for a few days. I found that putting this book down was very hard.
Obtained From: Library