Stieg Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy book 1)

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is book 1 in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.  This is yet another book that I didn’t actual hear about until the movie came out.  I just deleted a sentence that said if a book is turned into a movie the book must be pretty good because I remembered a certain romantic vampire series was turned into movies and just recently a movie came out that would make some people turn 50 different shades.  But I couldn’t turn down a book with the word “Dragon” in the title.  It’s not a fantasy book but it is still quite awesome nonetheless.

Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist in Sweden and Millennium is the name of the magazine he owns. One day he receives a phone call from a lawyer.  The lawyer tells Blomkvist that his client would like to meet him.  The client is Henrik Vanger and he would like Blomkvist to write a book about the history of the Vanger Family.  This is just a cover story for the real reason Blomkvist is to be hired – to find out what happened to  Harriet Vanger, a 16 year old who disappeared 40 years ago and was presumed dead.

Lisbeth Salender is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo mentioned in the title.  She’s a high school drop out with a unique sense of fashion and style who is actually quite smart.  She works for Dragan Armansky at Milton Security as a freelance investigator.  She’s the best at what she does but she never reveals her methods or her sources.

When Blomkvist and Salender meet half way through the book, fireworks.  Intellectual fireworks.  If it wasn’t clear before, it was pretty clear after their first meeting that the two of them together would solve the Case of the Missing Vanger.  By this time I had actually pieced together more or less what happened, but well, I am brilliant at reading foreshadow.  It’s really not that brilliant actually, just simply realizing that everything the author writes has some significance, even if it is just to increase word count.

After about 80% of the book was finished (roughly 400 / 500 pages), the whole  Harriet Vanger was all wrapped up.  I had everything I wanted out of the book but kept reading anyway out of principle of not leaving books unfinished.  The last 20% of the book was dealing with Blomikvist’s vendetta with Hans-Erik Wennerström that I really didn’t care about – too much financial mumble jumble for me.

As I understand it, there are more books in the series.  I doubt I will be reading the others anytime soon because this book was wrapped up too neatly.  That’s not a bad thing I should add.  I just don’t have an urgent need to continue reading the series right this moment.  Blomkvist and Salender weren’t characters I particularly liked or disliked, I just kept reading because the story was so damn intriguing, even after I figured out what was happening.  I also won’t be watching the movie because if the book was already this graphic, I’m worried what they would show in the movie.  Definitely rated RRR if the movie stayed true to the book.

So……this book, is it a murder mystery?  Is this book trying to bring to light the violence that a lot of women face in their lives?  Apparently the original title of this book was Män som hatar kvinnor,  translated “Men Who Hate Women”.  I don’t really know how to categorize it.  Just read it.  It’s worth reading.

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