Wednesday, November 12, 2008

REVIEW: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
ISBN: 9780307269751/Alfred A. Knopf
Protagonist(s): Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist, and Lisbeth Salander, a research assistant
Setting: present-day Sweden, north of Stockholm
Series: #1 of the Millennium trilogy
Rating: A+

First Line: The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose.

Mikael Blomkvist, editor in chief and journalist for Millennium magazine has just been found guilty of libel. The best thing for the survival of his magazine is for him to resign and disappear. Out of nowhere, wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger hands him an assignment on a silver platter: live in a nearby house in Hedeby for a year, investigate the forty-year-old disappearance of his niece, and not only will Blomkvist be paid handsomely, but Vanger will give him the information he needs to destroy Hans-Erick Wennerstrom--the billionaire who sued Blomkvist for libel and won. Blomkvist accepts, little knowing that the assignment will throw him right into the middle of a rattlesnake's den.

The first few pages of this book were a bit slow going, but I was irrevocably hooked when Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, made her appearance. She vaguely reminded me of a favorite character, Carol O'Connell's Kathleen Mallory--another brilliant misfit who has few social skills. Once the investigation into the disappearance of Vanger's niece was concluded, the Wennerstrom finale felt a bit anticlimactic, but the slow start and anticlimactic ending did not lessen my fascination with and enjoyment of this book. Larsson's skill with interweaving the narrative threads of Blomkvist and Salander, with the Swedish setting, and with a complex plot that made me irritable whenever I had to set the book down to do something else fills me with dismay at his untimely death.


  1. This one is on my wish list, so I'm glad to see you liked it.

  2. This book has had a lot of press but I've been waffling over whether to seek it out or have a stab at the TBR stack. Guess you've helped me make that decision.

  3. Are the other two books "finished" enough for publication, or were they something he planned to do, but had not yet written?

    I'd like to read *The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo*; thanks for the warning about the slow start :)

  4. Corey--I know what you mean about waffling. Usually the more press a book gets, the less I want to read it, but I had a copy of this fall into my lap. It didn't want to wait to be read either!

    Dawn--Larsson handed over the manuscripts for all three books at once. This book had just been published when he died of a heart attack. The next two are scheduled to be published in 2009 and 2010.

  5. I've heard good things about this one. I am looking forward to reading it.


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!