Throughout my life I happen to stumble upon The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson quite a few times. When it first came out it quickly gained international acclaim, and my then 16 year old self came across it at Chapters in Metrotown Shopping Centre. I didn’t pick it up then, instead I opted for a book I no longer can recall the name of. It would always spring up at different times; the other books in the series came out, friends recommended it and I even remember the movie coming up bringing it to my attention. But I never got around to actually opening up the pages.
Until this past weekend in Geneva, when I saw it sitting on my boyfriends shelf at his house and I picked it up and brought it back with me to the UK. He recommended I read it right away, just so we could watch the Swedish movie version of it since that one was really good apparently.
So I started reading, not really knowing what to expect. I found the first 50-75 pages actually a bit of a chore to read. Just because they were the introductory chapters and I wasn’t absolutely taken with his writing style (maybe that is a translation fault?). We get to know the main characters of Henrik Vanger, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salandar. There were a few disturbing parts, especially surrounding Lizbeth’s character. Her guardian for example. I won’t say more because I don’t want to ruin it for people. But overall, they are authentic characters that are made quite relatable. I always like strong yet realistic characters in my novels!
I really got into it once Henrik Vanger summoned the recently prosecuted Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist, to do a detective’s job; find out who murdered his niece Harriet Vanger back in the 1960s. The rest of the novel takes you on a brilliant journey, following the clues from the past to try and discover what has happened to Harriet and who from the Vanger family tree committed the gross crime. I was genuinely intrigued.
Well written, aside from the rather tedious beginning part, kept me at the edge of my seat. Loved how Lisbeth and Mikael came to working together, and I also really enjoyed the twist at the end. Simultaneously, really disturbing though.
Verdict: Perfect detective/thriller novel. It doesn’t take you long to get hooked and once you are hanging off the fishing line you don’t stop until you have devoured the novel. Heard positive things about the other books in the series and plan on reading those ones too!
Have you read this book and/or the whole series? Did you enjoy them all? None of them?