Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Millenium #1) – Paperback, 542 pages – Published June 2015 by Quercus

I’ve finally finished it! Whoop whoop!

This is a very different book to what I usually read. It contains a lot of strong language, sexual references, assault and Swedish finance. It also has a lot of investigating, which was my favourite part.

A financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, has been accused of libel after submitting a report about a rival company, owned by Hans-Erik Wennerström. The Wennerström Affair is huge – and has earned Blomkvist a three month stay in prison. This was all a bit hard for me to follow, as I don’t know much about this subject. But I still managed to get the general gist of it.

A freelance worker at Milton Security is hired to research Mikael Blomkvist. Her name is Lisbeth Salander, and she’s only in her twenties. Even so, she’s probably the best worker Dragan Armansky has hired.

The client wanting a report on Blomkvist, Herr Frode, works for Henrik Vanger of the massive Vanger Corporation. Pleased with what they hear, they hire the journalist for a private matter – to solve the mystery of a missing girl from the 1960’s.

While Blomkvist is researching the suspected crime, Lisbeth Salander is molested and raped by her legal guardian. She should turn him into the police, but that isn’t her style. Instead, she gets her revenge.

Blomkvist finds out about the report written on him, and seeks out Salander. Together they begin to crack the case of Harriet Vanger. They are both put at risk when they discover the reason for Harriet’s disappearance, and nobody’s prepared for what they uncover.

Although the case is solved, the company Blomkvist works for – Millenium – needs revenge against Wennerström. To his surprise, Salander has just what he needs to really make a bang.

Like I said, this is quite an explicit novel – fathers raping their children, guardians attacking vulnerable young women, men sleeping with multiple women. The relationships seem to be ever-changing in this novel, but I suppose that’s just realistic. But this is definitely not suitable for the faint-hearted, and there are some really horrific, visual descriptions that really will haunt you.

But if you like investigative or crime novels, I would definitely suggest giving it a go. It’s not a quick read by any means, but it’s cunning, it’s realistic, and it’s gripping. What more could you want from a novel of this genre? I really wasn’t sure at first, as I just couldn’t get into the multiple characters’ stories or the whole situation with Mikael Blomkvist, but I did manage to get into the rhythm of it in the end, and really did enjoy it. For these reasons, I’m going to give Larsson’s novel 4 stars. I’m seriously hoping I come across the next books in the series now!

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