Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

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Preparing For Christmas Season In The Harried Book World: Book #13

“Lisbeth Salander — the girl with the dragon tattoo — is a truly original character. Salander’s computer hacking skills, and her amoral disregard of both laws and individuals, are critical in resolving the case of modern corporate fraud and the disappearance of a young girl 40 years earlier. A European bestseller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo deserves every bit as much success here.” — from Indie Bound’s Indie Next List¬†¬† October, 2008

This is a total guilty pleasure read – and it’s fun. Larsson described the brutal Swedish winter so well that I almost found myself turning the pages while wearing gloves. I don’t normally like mysteries, but I love playing mystery computer games. And this novel with its vivid imagery and quick paced storyline was more like playing a game than reading a novel. It grabbed me right off (I’m considering pressing charges) and then lulled but by page 80 I was hooked again. I wasn’t thrilled by the ending but there probably wasn’t a better alternative.

The main character really isn’t the one in the title – it’s financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist who has just been sentenced a jail term for libeling an underhanded business man. He is offered a job in a remote island under the pretense of writing a chronicle of a well known industrialist’s family. However, his secret assignment is to find out what happened to the industrialist’s teenage great niece forty years ago when she mysteriously disappeared to never be seen again. It’s an assignment he would usually never agree to but due to the public humiliation of the libel charge and the promise of evidence that will ruin the underhanded business man he was accused of libeling he goes.

It does have a number of sexually graphic (and abusive) scenes so I probably wouldn’t whole-heartedly recommend across the board to just anyone. Nor, is it exactly higher literature or really edifying in its message or story line. However, if you just want an entertaining story that seems to be a quick read even though it’s over 500 pages – this is a good choice.

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