Tessa Bright Wildsmith
I had high expectations for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” by Stieg Larsson.
My expectations were met, for the most part, but I have to say I was a little disappointed with some parts of the book.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” centers around main character Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist. As the book opens, Blomkvist is being convicted of libel against a powerful multi-millionaire businessman Blomkvist wrote an article about. With his journalistic reputation gone, no money and not sure where to turn to next, Mikael accepts a job writing the autobiography of Henrik Vanger, a wealthy businessman, and his family. That’s Mikael’s cover story anyway. As part of a package deal, Henrik also wants Mikael to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance and murder of his niece, Harriet.
Blomkvist is eventually aided in the investigation by Lisbeth Salander, a young, punk-rock private investigator who answers to no one. As Blomkvist and Salander get closer to the truth, they realize they are in grave danger. Someone in the Vanger family doesn’t want the truth about Harriet’s disappearance to ever be revealed.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a thrilling murder mystery. Larsson did an excellent job of plotting the story and keeping all the characters and timelines in order. Most of the characters were well developed and interesting. The suspense slowly builds throughout the entire novel.
Overall, I thought this was a great book and would recommend it to most anyone. My disappointments were few. The first of the book is, well, boring. The first chapter or two is full of extremely detailed writing about the Swedish financial system. It is possible the author was trying to give the reader a better understanding of Blomkvist’s background, but it really didn’t add anything to the story line. My only other disappointment was in the story of Lisbeth Salander. When the story ended, I still knew very little about her. I found her character interesting and intriguing and wanted to know more.
The sequel “The Girl Who Played With Fire” was just released in August and once again has Lisbeth Salander as a character. Perhaps her character will be more fully developed in the second book.
I found “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” a very unique story. It was a complex murder mystery with a lot of layers. I’ll definitely read the sequel and hopefully learn more about the intriguing characters I met.
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