The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larrsson

December 19, 2011
By kathrenjh GOLD, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
kathrenjh GOLD, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
14 articles 0 photos 3 comments

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson, was published in Sweden in 2005. It became an international best seller. The book ultimately begins on a very slow and confusing start, not to give it a bad reputation but after about the first one-hundred or so pages, the beginning will start to make sense. The beginning of the actual story opens with a very interesting mystery. Henrik Vanger, a man owning his own company, hires Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who has just lost a libel case under murky circumstances against a Mr. Wennerstrom. He is hired to investigate the disappearance of his great-niece, Harriet. About 40 years earlier, Harriet vanished from the small island mostly owned by the Vanger family, and Henrik never got over it. He has been investigating the suspected murder and disappearance for the past 40 years.
Blomkvist takes on the case, thinking it will help him get over the libel case he just lost. Henrik promises him 2.4 million kronor for a year’s work. Henrik says he’s certain that someone in his family murdered Harriet. They are all thieves and aren’t a very close knit family. Everyone in the family acts like they have something to hide.
Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old computer hacker with a photo­graphic memory, a violent temper and some serious intimacy issues, is the main character of this story. She has been in protective guardian services ever since she was young. She has been listed as a danger to herself and others but is fully capable to take care of herself. After Blomkvist discovers that Salander knows virtually everything about him after she did a background check for Henrik, Blomkvist asks her to join him in the wild investigation.
During the first few chapters of the mystery, the book takes a slight down turn as we are introduced to the entire Vagner family. The family consists of every cousin and 2nd cousin that resides on this island, only 8 of them are genuinely important. Blomkvist discovers a secret from the island of Vagners. Harriet’s case turns out to be connected to a series of murders in the 1950s and ’60s. A cat is killed and its tortured corpse is left outside the cottage where Blomkvist is living, he and Salan­der realize they may not be working on a cold case after all.
The original title to the book in Swedish means “Men who hate women”. I’d hate to give away Larsson’s books but the main theme in all of them is against sexual violence towards women. His main goal is to expose the criminals who commit crimes like this for the sick twisted men that they are.
Blomkvist has minor side stories throughout the book that generally have nothing to do with the over all mystery. He visits his wife and daughter once and then they are never mentioned again. Also, he is joined twice on the island by Erika Berger, his coworker and part time lover, but she shows no relevance to the story other than her pushy attitude about him coming back to work.

The story overall is very complicated. It jumps back and forth between two points of view, Salander and Blomkvist. The book begins to end on a decent note with discovering what happened to Harriet. All in all though, it ended quite dryly. It quickly wrapped up with exposing Wennerstrom with viable evidence and was basically summed up to a happy ending. I do recommend this book. Even though it had some rusty and slow parts, it was very enjoyable and an intriguing read, I couldn’t put it down.

The author's comments:
This book is very graphic and I do not suggest anyone to read it who is under 16.

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