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. ★★★★★
- Where is Lisbeth Salander’s home? A review of Millennium Tour in Stockholm (brandsandfilms.com)
- Lisbeth Salander: The Most Important Character Ever Written (theallegiant.com)
- A Vigilante Love Affair with Lisbeth Salander (pheonixreview.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (thesolitarybookworm.com)
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (hotchocolateandbooks.wordpress.com)