Category: FM – Fiction Mystery


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

July 9th, 2010 — 2:51am

Buy now on Amazon: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson, the author, died in 2004 shortly after delivering to his publisher the manuscripts for this book (originally in Swedish of course) and two novels he subsequently wrote which I have not yet read. I also have not yet seen the Swedish movie of this story. I also understand there is an English movie soon to be released. The plot is basically a mystery that needs to be solved. One of the main protagonists of the novel is Mikael Bloomkvist, Swedish financial journalist, who as we meet him has just been convicted of libel for trying to expose a wealthy industrialist for his shady corrupt dealings. He thought that he had the evidence to expose him but he couldn’t produce it. His notoriety leads him to the Vanger family and sets him on his quest to solve a mystery, which involves a kidnapping, and much more. As the story develops there are lots of members of this family of whom initially it is a little hard to keep track. Many of the names and places and even small locations are Swedish names, which also threw me for a small loop. However, it really doesn’t distract from the story and Bloomkvist’s curiosity about this mystery. There are surprises with twists and turns, which are expected and appreciated in this genre. It is also interesting to reflect on the sexual mores of the country where the story takes place in that heterosexual casual sex among good friends without a romantic relationship is easily accepted. The story also encounters some perverted crimes that are spelled out in great detail. The author obviously either had a very vivid imagination or sadly enough he could have just taken these descriptions from the periodic reports of such crimes that are reported in the media. By far the most interesting character in the book is the girl with the dragon tattoo herself, who as a youth is shown to have had significant mental problems somewhere between being the product of a deprived childhood with sexual abuse and someone being on the autism spectrum. Now as a young woman she clearly has residual personality issues but is able to use her photographic memory and computer skills to play an important role in the solving of the mystery. She also is presented as an intriguing woman to some of the men in the story as well as to the readers. I understand that both she and the journalist will appear in the subsequent novels.  Larsson who himself was magazine editor with particular politically leanings did seem to have a good feel for the subject of his novel and wrote in an authentic manner. This was a very good read and I look forward to his subsequent books.

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