Book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

She solves a murder mystery and restores all karmic balance.
532 pages, ★★★★★

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there’s always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

The story is set in Sweden, in a realistic present-day dystopia. Murder, kidnapping, rape, embezzlement, feuds and revenge dominate the connections between the characters. The crime in question, “Who killed Harriet?” is revealed to Blomkvist on page 82.

Everyone in this book, except for Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, is creepy. Mikael gets wrongly imprisoned by one of said creeps, who is a billionaire trying to protect his business. Lisbeth suffers two sex attacks from another creep on page 220, but keeps focussed on the murder mystery and on page 420, solves it. Serial killers and biblical misinterpretations fill the middle pages (it reminded me of The Da Vinci Code, actually).

In the concluding 100 pages, Lisbeth hilariously “makes everything right”. Largely thanks to Lisbeth, all the victims are compensated, all the rapists get revenged, the bankrupted magazine gets rescued, and all the Nazis die. How very karmic.

The first book of a trilogy is almost always the best. One book was enough, though. I enjoyed this thriller but I’m not going to read any more. ★★★★★

11 thoughts on “Book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    1. Yes, I’ve five-starred it. I’m also surprised that the film version exaggerated the sex attack. The film implied it lasted 2 hours, whereas it was only a ‘few minutes’ in the book. That graphic scene in the film distracted me from the rest of the story, but that wasn’t the case in the book. And yes, that’s enough Millennium trilogy for me, too.


      1. Have you watched the Swedish film versions or the Hollywood? For me the Swedish films represent the books marvellously


  1. Hey James,

    It happens that first book of a trilogy fascinates us but same not happens with remaining part. But I loved Millennium series. When I have started second part -“The Girl Who Played with Fire”, I had similar feeling as you have. But when I have started third part – “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest”, It made deep impression on me.

    Hope, you will read and like remaining parts…
    – Uj.


  2. Wow five stars! I was definitely intrigued by this book but I also had a lot of mixed feelings about it. I found it very difficult to get into at the start and at points I felt it was very slow. Still, I found it quite an addictive read. I actually enjoyed the second book a lot more than the first, but I have yet to read the last. I keep leaving 1 year gaps-ish between reading each book, I don’t think I could ever read them back to back because they would seem too same-ey.

    Nice review! 🙂


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