The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson I always regret when an amazing piece of literature is in publication for years before the masses catch on. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very successful crime novel hailing from Sweden, by author Stieg Larsson. It finally reached mass popularity in the United States upon the release of its movie adaptation. Suddenly, copies of the novel and its subsequent The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest started appearing in stores all over the country, and they were flying off the shelves.

"The Girl" these novels follow is Lisbeth Salander- the quiet, tattooed, and eccentric freelance investigator for a security company. She joins black-listed journalist Mikael Blomkvist on the job of a lifetime. Mikael is approached by the elderly Henrik Vanger, former-CEO of the Vanger Corporation, and patriarch of the Vanger family. After pleading guilty to a libel charge he did not commit and stepping down as publisher of his own Millennium magazine. Blomkvist is looking at financial ruin and the collapse of his magazine, so he reluctantly accepts the old man's request to relocate to his family's private island for a year and write a chronicle of Henrik, his family, and their lives as majority share holders of a successful multinational corporation. The one catch is that while collecting information for the biography, Blomkvist must also try to solve the 30+ years old disappearance of Henrik's niece Harriet from that very island.

As Mikael seems to be uncovering new clues and information, Henrik's personal lawyer hires Lisbeth Salander to aid Blomkvist in his extensive digging into the events of the day Harriet disappeared. Initially cold, quiet, and difficult to get through to, Mikael and Lisbeth begin to trust and respect each other for their skill in their chosen fields, forming a perfect team to pry into the lives of this rich and respected family and prove that everyone has skeletons needing to stay in the closet.

The character who seems the least to be changed by this year-long adventure is actually the character we see the most throughout the story. Salander remains very cold and distant, virtually uncaring, until well into her partnership with Blomkvist. Toward the end, we see her heart start to thaw a little and her true thoughts and she begins to allow herself to have emotions toward people, even if she never shows them. Having not yet read the next two books, I would believe this social acclimation place a central role throughout the series.

I found The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to be a very brilliant crime novel with fascinating characters and a very unique crime to solve. I would definitely give it five out of five stars and highly recommend to everyone.