The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: A Review

I’m just now getting around to reading the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.   The book has been out awhile, the movie has come and gone from theaters, yet somehow, I  managed to avoid reviews and spoilers, so I tackled the book without a clue as to the plot.  I didn’t even know why the novel was called the Millenium series.  Silly me, I thought it was because the story occurred around the year 2000.

 The first few chapters were dense with detail, too much back story, and unexpected shifts in point of narration.  If there hadn’t been so much hype surrounding the novel, I might have put the book down.  Thank goodness the popularity of the tale kept me turning the page.  Once the mystery of the Harriet, the missing and presumed dead girl, began to unfold I was hooked.

Larsson’s strength is in plotting.  A few key twists were predictable enough, yet there were enough subplots woven into the main arc to keep my interest.   Larsson also tosses around a few red herrings to keep the reader guessing “who done it.”  While I didn’t particularly care for Mikael Blomkvist’s character, I adored the tragic, yet spunky, Lisbeth Salander.  The ending brought about a satisfying conclusion, something that I find rare these days.  So what book did I pick up to read next?   Yep, the second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  So far, I like this book better than the first.

It is a pity Larsson died before the books achieved their height of popularity.  I am, however, happy that the publishers changed the title from Men Who Hate Women.  I would have had about zero interest in picking up a book with that label on the front cover and I would have missed out on a good read.

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