Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is my next entry for the Orbis terrarum challenge - I have landed in Sweden this time. The book is primarily set in Sweden and the author, the late Stieg Larsson is also Swedish.
This book is the first of the millennium trilogy and it proved to be a complete page turner. Murder mysteries have always aroused my enthusiasm and this book was no different. The story had everything - suspense , climax, mystery, murder,libel all rolled into one enthralling read. This book was termed as one of the best sellers of the year but I was a bit apprehensive about picking it up because it is a mere translation of the original Swede book. I was wondering if it would bring out the content and depth of the original. However it turned out to be one of the best detective/murder mysteries I have read in the recent times.
The gist of the story is as follows : Nearly 40 years ago Harriet Vanger disappears from Hedeby island. This island is primarily occupied by a powerful business family , the Vangers. On the day of her disappearance there were many social events that took place on the otherwise isolated island. Hence the number of suspects is enormous. Also neither was her corpse found nor was there any witness which makes the mystery even more thrilling.Henrik Vanger who is her guardian does not wasnt to give up the search and so he hires Mikael. Mikael Blomkovist is a journalist convicted of libel and his magazine is on the verge of sinking. In his effort to save his skin and reputation , he agrees to solve the mystery.
Actually this story has two mysteries that are interwoven with each other - one is Harriet Vanger's disappearance and the other is about Lisabeth Salander's life. Lisabeth Salander is Mikael's accomplice in solving the mystery. However she is not a typical 'goody two shoes ' detective a la Nancy Drew and Miss Marple. She is a complete dare devil ,a professional hacker, a master of disguises and would go to any extreme to get her facts straight. Infact her past life and her actions seem to be like a mystery of its own.
There are parts of the book that are kind of gross and a bit too gory to bear. However that apart its a completely gripping read. I would recommend it to anyone who is waiting to read a fast paced book. This book has made me want to complete the trilogy series. So keep waiting for reviews on the next book- 'The Girl who played with fire'


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