The first book I read in January was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Also, adapted to a movie…

…And another movie.

The story is about a down on his luck magazine publisher (Mikael Blomkvist) who’s just lost a court case for liable and slander by a wealthy industrialist. Mikael is grief struck with concerns of losing his magazine due to his drop in public image.

Blomkvist is given a lifeline from Henry Vangar, rival industrialist to the man who convicted him. Vangar has evidence his rival to give to Blomkvist but first he must do a favor for him. Mikael must write a biography about the Vangar family and uncover a 30-year mystery of his missing niece.

Mikael accepts and Vangar invites to his estate to conduct the investigation. Vangar is under the belief that she was murdered by a member of his family.

After months of research, Blomkvist has a few leads and realized he’s bitten a bit more than he can chew. He asks for a research assistant and is given oddball Lisbeth Salander.

Plot-wise that’s all I’m giving up, but I felt the story picked up when Blomkvist and Salander began working together. Granted they have their own storyline before they collide, but for about 50 pages the story felt stale. Even though I had seen both films, the book felt similar with the story picking up whenever Salander was on the page.

Lisbeth Salander jumped off the pages throughout the book. She was mystery slowly getting unwrapped only to be covered up again. She is the pumping heart of author Stieg Larsson’s work. If she wasn’t well written, then his work wouldn’t have been published.

By the end of the book, I couldn’t put it down to the point I was hooked. I would read Book 2 in the Millennium series but I promised myself I’d read two other books first (btw I haven’t seen the second Swedish movie so it should be a total surprise).

The translation was better than what people say. There are at least two versions of the English translation but I recommend to selecting the (Yellow) version of the pic above (NOT THIS ONE)

WHY? Because it still has some Swedish or European terminology. (Sorry for being American)

Overall I give The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, a 7 out of 10 or better a 3 out of 5.


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