April 01, 2015

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I started out reading this book thinking I wasn't going to like it.  Crime books and thrillers are not my normal sort of genre, and then add in the fact that it started out very slowly, and well, I was almost a goner.  But gradually the book became more interesting and the more I read it, the more I wanted to read it. 

Mikael Blomkvist is a report who has just gotten himself into some trouble.  Having lost a court case where he was charged with libel, he has to exit from his magazine to save it from going down the tubes, serve a few months in jail, and figure out how to get back at the guy who sent his career plummeting.  So when he is offered a job working for an eccentric older business man to find out what happened to a member of his family, it seems like a no brainer.  That is until dark things start happening as he is investigating.  That and the appearance of a strange girl who can do things with a computer and get information that a reporter could only hope to get ahold of.

Mikael was a decent character.  A little too perfect.  Very forgiving, all the ladies loved him, so on and so forth.  He didn't have any bad habits or personality quirks that I could see, and that made him a bit unbelievable.  Even in a fiction novel I like my characters to have some flaws.  That being said, his alternate, Lisbeth, had plenty of flaws even though she is "freakishly" intelligent and good at investigating.  She too was a little too powerful at times and it really seemed quite unfair to the antagonists to have to go up against these two.  But they were entertaining and you can't help but root for Lisbeth when she's righting wrongs.  Mikael was more passive and because of that I didn't find myself rooting for him as much.

The plot was only somewhat predictable.  There were a few things in the mystery I was able to guess and some things that I wasn't.  I do think that the ending was probably a bit too easy and everything was wrapped up just a little too nice.  But they did leave a little room at the end for the entrance of the next book, so not everything was wrapped up.  And just because some of it was predictable doesn't mean it wasn't a good read.  I liked the description of the people (although the scenery could have used some work) and the setting was interesting being in Sweden.  This was a very graphic book when it came to other descriptions though and it could be quite violent.  Abuse and rape and torture all had a part in this book, and even the consensual sex seemed somewhat impersonal as well.  It wasn't a large part of the book, but it was definitely noticeable and mildly disturbing.

I'm intrigued enough to read the next book.  I want to know what happens with the characters and what "bad guy" they are going to defeat next with their partnership.  From slow to hard to put down, this was a roller coaster of a book.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Copyright 2008
644 pages

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