The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson
Pub. Date: June 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Series: Millennium Trilogy Series
The blurb from the publisher:
An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.
Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
The Short of It:
Not your regular murder mystery. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is complex and rich and psychologically challenging. A page-turner but not the kind you skim through. This one you want to savor.
The Rest of It:
I am the last person on the planet to read this, so what hasn’t been said? Well, Lisbeth Salander is probably one of the strongest female protagonists I’ve seen in print in a long, long time. She is dark and moody and has been abused in more ways than one, yet she is strong and determined and always manages to gain the upper hand. Her counterpart, Mikael Blomkvist is also a very interesting character. He’s unassuming yet there’s something about him that draws the women to him. He’s essentially a good guy, easy going and honest but as I was reading, I wanted to know what made him tick and I’m not sure that came through for me.
As a mystery, I found it to be quite satisfying. I never felt that the story was too obvious or that Larsson was pandering to the masses when he wrote it. It’s a sophisticated story told in a sophisticated way. What did surprise me was the prevalence of domestic violence throughout the novel. Apparently, Sweden has a very high rate of domestic violence. The statistics are mentioned throughout the novel and there is plenty of violence against women in general. Although some of the violence is graphic in its depiction, I never felt as if it was gratuitous in nature, if that makes sense.
In the end, I was left wanting more so it’s a good thing that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book of the Millennium Series. I am reading The Girl Who Played with Fire now and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is available in the UK and can be purchased online.
Lisa over at Lit and Life reminded me that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Since this book deals with domestic violence, I thought I’d support the cause by posting this button.