Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Number of pages: 542

Started: 14 July 2009

Finished: 22 July 2009

Opening words:

It happened every year, was almost a ritual. And this was his eighty second birthday. When, as usual, the flower was delivered, he took off thewrapping paper and then picked up the telephone to call Detective Superintendent Morell who, when he retired, had moved to Lake Siljan in Dalarna. They were not only the same age, they had been born on the same day— which was something of an irony under the circumstances.
The old policeman was sitting with his coffee, waiting, expecting the call.
“It arrived.”
“What is it this year?”
“I don’t know what kind it is. I’ll have to get someone to tell me what
it is. It’s white.”
“No letter, I suppose.”
“Just the flower. The frame is the same kind as last year. One of those do- it- yourself ones.”
“Same as always, all in capitals. Upright, neat lettering.”

Read the first chapter here.

Plot summary:

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared off the secluded island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger family. There was no corpse, no witnesses, no evidence. But her uncle, Henrik, is convinced that she was murdered by someone in her own family - the deeply dysfunctional Vanger clan. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomqvist is hired to investigate, but when he links Harriet's disappearance to a string of gruesome murders from forty years ago, he needs a competent assistant - and he gets one: computer hacker Lisbeth Salander - a tattoed, truculent, angry girl who rides a motorbike like a Hell's Angel and handles makeshift weapons with the skill born of remorseless rage. This unlikely pair form a fragile bond as they delve into the sinister past of this island-bound, tightly-knit family. But the Vangers are a secretive lot, and Mikael and Lisbeth are about to find out just how far they're prepared to go to protect themselves - and each other.

What I thought:

Technically I didn’t read this book, but actually listened to it as a talking book. I think I actually found that preferable and am wondering if I would have liked it so much if I have read it. That said, I enjoyed the book and found it to be a good yarn. It contained a lot of good elements of a story (mystery, suspense, a bit of romance, some double-crossing etc) with a main plot and a major sub-plot. It was a fairly satisfying story and was worth listening to on a long road journey. I will read the next book and see how I enjoy that.


Kahless said...

This post makes the book sound like it is worth reading. I may try it.

Random Reflections said...

Khaless - I was much better than I expected. I had only got it at the last minute because the talking book I had wanted wasn't there.

I thought it might be another "Da Vinci Code" which was a good yarn but rather over-hyped. This had a rather better plot etc to it and I would like to read the next one to see what happens next (although I think the books are self-contained really).