The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson Review

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book in the Millennium Trilogy – or the ones that were originally written by Larsson, fact (I was going to say fun but this one is more just interesting) – Larsson died suddenly and unexpectedly in December of 2004 soon after he gave the three manuscripts of the Millennium Trilogy to his Swedish publisher so he never saw the success the series was. Larsson was a journalist whose work was characterized by a relentless struggle against injustice and inequality his work focused on anti-racism journalism, his work eventually took shape of three novels known as the Millennium trilogy. [Source]

And now for the review.

It took me a while to get into this book and it took me over a month to read all together but it was completely worth it, the story was never uninteresting it was just a book that I found you need need to read slowly and precisely. The storyline was filled with twists that nobody saw coming and like Henrik Vanger, I didn’t think quite how brilliantly terrible the conclusion would be.

Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist for the Millennium magazine and is hired by Henrik Vanger to delve into the Vangers’ family past to uncover the truth behind an unsolved mystery from thirty years previous. But while Blomkvist is investigating it’s clear someone wants the secret to stay hidden. Blomkvist’s character is one that is dedicated when his mind is set to something, he also has a good heart and is determined to hurt as few people as possible. I could definitely feel that Blomkvist was written by someone who’d had previous experience in journalism and not just reporting on cats stuck up trees but the real deal, enough to bring down the stock exchange (heehee).

Lisbeth Salander is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, she’s a genius computer hacker who assists Blomkvist in the investigation. She shows antisocial behavioral characteristics and generally dislikes people. Lisbeth’s character shows the most development throughout this book and has a personality that I rather admire, basically someone who takes shit from no one (the book has swearing in it so I feel I am allowed to swear in the review). The title of the book does suggest more involvement on Lisbeth’s part in the plot but then again perhaps it’s like that to foreshadow the involvement she has much closer to the end of the book. The scenes where you see a different side of Lisbeth to the antisocial young woman were some of my favourite they were intense and I could feel what Larsson was trying to portray – it felt like cracking a safe and finding something you’d never have expected, it also felt like I was being let into a secret that none of the other characters knew since the whole book was written in third person. For crime novels I enjoy them written in third person because it means the writer can explore all aspects of the main characters, Larsson did this well. Very well. I never got confused about whose thoughts were being portrayed and, as I mentioned it was done in such a way that made me feel I was being let into little secrets of the characters.

Although it was slow, it was excellently thought out with pieces connecting where you don’t expect connections to be and that is the type of thing you want in a thiller/crime. The unexpected it’s what makes the build up worth while. I couldn’t put this book down for the last 200 pages, and I mean that trying to make cereal at 2 o’clock in the morning while reading isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Overall brilliant (apart from the slow start), I can’t wait to pick up the next one and, something that I don’t think I’ve ever said I’m also kind of excited to watch the film. (I mean Daniel Craig is a babe)

Highly recommended but if you don’t like the idea of a lot of pain and torture then this isn’t the book for you, if you don’t mind it – read this book and if you enjoy reading about pain and torture go see someone about that but of course read this book first…

Solid 9/10


Book Published 2005


  1. thegirlwithallthebooks · June 25, 2018

    I’ve never read this series but it sounds great😊


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