Archive for December, 2011

Book review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

December 2, 2011

This book was recommended to me by a ‘lad about town’, so I was expecting one of those can’t-put-it-down action packed thrillers.

This was not the case. There was far more realistic depth to this than a mere action thriller. Mikael Blomkvist was an ‘ordinary’ journalist earning his crust and the book opens with what appears to be  a monumental failure when he loses a battle in court. He had published remarks about renowned business tycoon Wennerström – remarks that he could not substantiate because he refused to reveal his source and so had to pay damages and spend time in jail.

From the seeds of this failure we are led through a labyrinth of characters and events that take us into the worlds of publishing, big business and emotionally fragmented families and individuals. The girl with the dragon tattoo is not the oriental glamour puss one imagines but rather a feisty young girl who has dragged herself up from a deprived background and used her natural talents to become a master of the computing world and a highly skilled investigator, sometimes using unorthodox methods that always achieved her aims.

The gentle flow of prose, the gradual believable development of Mikael’s relationships with the characters and the taste of life in Sweden made the text very approachable and the book very readable.

There were times when the blood and gore shocked, but nevertheless the overall theme, the mystery and intrigue and the moments of climax were beautifully handled as you reach the end of the novel you are very much aware that this had been a very carefully sculptured piece.

This is definitely well worth reading.

Rosemary Westwell

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