The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, originally titled in Swedish "Men Who Hate Women", is a best-selling crime novel by Swedish writer and journalist Stieg Larsson. The book is the first of the author's Millennium Trilogy and was adapted for the big screen this year.

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of hard-hitting magazine Millennium has just lost a libel case against billionaire industralist Hans-Erik Wennerström. As a result, he loses his professional credibility and his magazine sinks into financial depression. Just as all hope seems to be gone, Blomkvist is offered an unexpected assignment from an old family acquaintance, Henrik Vanger.

Despite sensible objections from business partner and occasional lover Erika Berger, he accepts the assignment – to launch an investigation into the decades-old disappearance of a loved family member. Here forth, the story turns a sharp twist towards the end and he is spiraled into deeper, darker secrets. And right at the crucial moment enters Lisbeth, an unlikely misunderstood twenty-year-old hacker and the unexpected heroine, to save the day.

Here is a little interesting backgrounder to the female lead: at age 15, Larsson witnessed the gang-rape of a young girl and he never forgave himself for his then cowardice. So, guess who he named the heroine, Lisbeth, in his novels after? Likewise, there is a recurring theme of sexual violence against women in his works.

That, and with both murder mystery and corporate conspiracy – the stuff made for crime novels all thrown in, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an exciting, intelligent crime novel about society at its darkest, especially apt for Sweden with its Nazi past and a history of violence against women (chronicled with snippets of facts before each chapter such as the percentage of Swedish women violated on average each year). Larsson too proves himself a master storyteller; he keeps his readers guessing through to the end... in spite of an ending that was a tad too abrupt – just as his death from a heart attack shortly after the success of his third book.

Related links: Millennium Trilogy website, Wikipedia – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Wikipedia – Stieg Larsson
Buy the book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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