Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

It's been a very long time since I last read anything other than category romance, but I finally pulled this one from my TBR pile and I'm so glad I did.

This book was written by Swedish journalist, Stieg Larsson, the first in a trilogy that has taken the world by storm. Sadly, Stieg Larsson died young and never lived to see the phenomenon his books have become.

The story starts slowly. The various characters are introduced, the premises are set up and the reader settles into the pace as the book unwinds. The novel was very different from what I'm used to: emotion and passion are noticeably absent, and the writing style has a factual, journalistic quality to it. Nevertheless, the story is gripping, especially in the final third when the plot starts to take unexpected twists.

Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist hired by an elderly corporate legend to solve a mystery. Aided by a fascinating anti-heroine, the girl with the dragon tattoo, Blomkvist investigates the disappearance 40 years previously of teenager Harriet Vanger from an island sealed off from the rest of the world.

I'm happy to say that I solved the mystery early on, which is somewhat unusual for me. But that did not detract at all from the tension and thrill of the novel and its absorbing characters. There were twists I did not foresee, and a dark Val McDermid-style thread running through the story. These layers make this book an awesome read. I can't wait to get my hands on the next in the trilogy.


  1. It's been too long since I read a mystery-type book. I've always been a great fan of Agatha Christie books and, for me, no one has ever done it quite like her.

    I think it does our minds good to switch off from reading romance every now and again.