Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.
Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a thrilling novel set in Sweden (it is a Swedish book that has been translated into English). The original title of the book was Men Who Hate Women. In many ways I like the original title a lot more because it makes a lot of the points in the book even stronger. There are many instances of violence and force used against women throughout the novel, including Swedish crime statistics of violence against women that are found in the beginning of every chapter. However, the new title definitely fits in better with the series as a whole.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is about a disgraced journalist who ends up leaving Stockholm for a remote area of Sweden to write a biography of and investigate the family of Henrik Vanger. Vanger is the head of a once very prominent business family. Although their business is now slowing down they still remain a large corporation. As Blomkvist, the journalist, begins the biography he slowly learns more about an unsolved mystery in the family.
Ultimately, Blomkvist needs more help, which leads him to bring in Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. As they unfurl the family mystery, danger creeps closer to them.
Stieg Larsson is an excellent story-teller. I was entertained the whole time, even if I was also disturbed by the actions of some of the characters. I still always wanted to know more. I look forward to the second installment in the trilogy, The Girl who Played with Fire.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars