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Friday 3 April 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Review:- Henri Vanger's niece, Harriet has been missing for over 20+ years but he remains to receive dried pressed flowers yearly, a gift that only Harriet gave. Confused and extremely curious he wants to solve the mystery once and for all. 

Mikael Blomkvist a Journalist has recently been charged and convicted for libel. He wrote a story about Wennerstorm, a corporation giant, and their illegal and underground dealings. Failing to provide his source, after Wennerstorm sued him he was then convicted. 

Lisbeth Salander is a very disturbed woman with a bad past. Salander is now working for a security company, providing them with detailed and in depth report on individuals that their client wants investigated. Salander is the best in her field, but she finds these information illegally, she's a computer hacker.

After Blomkvist stint with the legal system, Henri Vanger took the opportunity to strike a deal that Blomkvist couldn't resist. Vanger hired Blomkvist to solve the mystery of his niece's disappearance in exchange for information about Wennerstorm that will prove that Mikael's story wasn't a lie after all. Despite hesitation Mikael takes the job and before long Mikael hires Lisbeth Salander to help him with the case. The two soon find out that the Harriet Vanger case is not what it seems. 

This book was quite slow to start off with. I had past the half way point of the book before it started to get interesting, up to that point it was a lot of introduction. To be honest, it wasn't even introduction but it dragged through parts that was not necessary or even important in the case. I found that the first half of the book concentrated on points that by the end of the book you wonder why on earth did they go through that in so much detail? However, as I've said in previous posts, it seems that this is the norm for first books in a series, hence, maybe when I read the second book I will realize its importance, but as for now I felt that it was written simply to fill pages.

Having said that, once the book actually got going it became a very good mystery story. Filled with unexpected twists and turns it kept me interested and constantly thinking. It was certainly one of those stories that at the end you think "Wow! I didn't see that one coming!" So in that respect it certainly achieved it's goals in being a good mystery book, like I said, my only qualm was that I felt that some minor themes were explored too in-depth when it was not necessary.

Whilst I was not able to empathize with any of the characters, I felt that in this book, the characters were one of Larsson's best points. Larsson's characters had multiple dimensions and he explored their different dimensions in depth. Through the creation of his characters, you as the reader is brought into their lives and you want to find out what and why this and that happened in their lives.

Overall this was a great first book for Larsson, you can see his potential to be a great writer, but I think that he just needs to know when enough's enough and that sometimes going too much into a minor theme/plot of the story becomes information overload. Apart from the information overload the plot, themes and characters were well created and the book was well written. 

* Stieg Larsson soon died after writing the trilogy, hence he never knew the fame that his books claimed.



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