Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I finished this book nearly a week ago but have not written my thoughts because I have been nursing a broken ankle and because I am really not sure what I want to write. (Is that the percocet influence?) I was engrossed in this first novel of Larsson's trilogy and often wondered where the next turn was going to take the reader. Although it was a long read, it wasn't onerous.

The novel has a number of plots and subplots. It opens with the delivery of a framed flower to an aging Henrik Vanger which sets the stage for the first of the subplots. Vanger, an industrialist and financier, is uncle to Harriet Vanger who disappeared 36 years ago. Was it a result of an abduction, murder, or an escape on the young girl's part? Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist for Millennium Magazine, has recently written an exposé that results in him being charged with libel, convicted to a future prison term. Lisbeth Salander ( why did I keep reading salamander?) is the girl with the dragon tattoo and an incredible computer wizard and investigator. Add her to my list of wannabee likes - Abby from NCIS, and Penelope from Criminal Minds. Salander is hired to do a background check on Blomkvist by Vanger and as a result the paths become intertwined.

The novel is superbly crafted by Larsson. There are just enough hints to allow the reader an insight into the mysteries and investigation and more than enough twist to keep one from feeling comfortable in playing detective. The violence in the book is more than disturbing as are some of the situations in which Salander finds herself. I am not sure that the way she handled the encounters with her guardian was in the best interest for her or the guardian who was completely despicable. I had a hard time picturing the romantic interest between her and Blomkvist. Maybe I am just not as enlightened to the times as I should be. After the mystery has been solved, the revelation of the resolution fills nearly 100 pages. It was shocking and disturbing. Do business interests and "the bottom line" really trump morals and ethics? I am sure they do, but disturbing, none the less.

I look forward to reading the other 2 books in this trilogy. They have certainly maintained sales and readership throughout the summer of 2010.

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