Friday 11 March 2011
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Pages - 538
Book: Own copy
Published by MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus Books in 2008
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 the wrapping 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.
This book intertwines three very diverse characters from extremely different backgrounds and ties them tightly together until a forty year old crime is solved.
Henrik Vanger, is a tired old man, head of an international family run corporation, who just wants some peace of mind before death takes hold of him.
Michael Blomkvist has nearly lost everything after being taken to court for false information. Vanger hires him to solve a murder that a lot of people would prefer to keep hidden.
Lisbeth Salander, a streetwise delinquent with an autistic temperament, who is cold hearted, but very clever. An excellent computer hacker who will stop at nothing to find out the truth.
This was the book chosen for our Book Club and to be honest I was a little bit reluctant to read it at first. I don't usually go within a half mile radius of a crime novel as they are normally far too real for my liking. I love paranormal and horror, because as far as I am concerned they are just pure fantasy.
So with trepidation, I stepped tentatively into this book and found the prologue had me hooked. I realised I needed to have an answer to the big question that is presented in the first couple of pages. Unfortunately, the following two chapters nearly found me deserting the book. I found that within those two chapters the translation of the book let it down a little. It was too information heavy for my liking, leaving me flailing in the wind. I didn't understand any of it. Everyone who had read the book, insisted that I continued the journey, which luckily proved the right decision.
SO, once I moved onto chapter three, I found myself being dragged, kicking and screaming through the story. This is an incredible thriller. The story leads you down many different pathways and you begin to feel like a child lost in a maze, tears on standby as you continually hit dead ends.
I have battled with how to review this book, as I did enjoy it, but I struggled with aspects of it.
There are some scenes within the book that turned my stomach. I don't cope well with violent graphic sex scenes and I wish that I had been warned about them beforehand. I could see they were integral to the plot, due to the violent themes being explored.
I found the characters within the book rather a deranged bunch, all unable to commit to a normal loving relationship. I could not warm to them at all, but I believe they were created that way for a reason. Larsson did not want you to feel any emotional attachment to his characters.
The book consists of two different plot lines, one of which I loved one, the other surplus to requirements. The main thrilling story seems to be bookended by the rather tedious one. Once the main crime had been solved by the end, I would have been happy to finish the book, being content that my curiosity had been rewarded. However, I still had to plod through the other story and unfortunately I lost interest in it. Sorry! Perhaps if the opening story had been intertwined a little more throughout the book and solved at the same time as the crime, it might not have bothered me as much.
I know that many people out there have adored this book and it is an extremely good thriller, but personally I only loved the main crime story with in the book. However, I would definitely recommend reading this book and I do hope to continue with the series. There are lots of extremely good reviews of this book on Amazon, so please do go and have a look. If you love crime thrillers, with a hint of Dan Brown, then this series is definitely for you.