It’s been a while since I’ve read a really good mystery. This book balanced multiple plots and some really unique characters to create a satisfying read. As the first in the series, Larsson introduces us to Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative reporter recently convicted of slander, and Lisbeth Salander, a social misfit with a talent for computer hacking. Through a series of incidents, they end up working together to solve the mystery of a teenager who has been missing for thirty years.
My favorite part of this book was the character of Lisbeth. I can honestly say, Lisbeth is the most unique heroine I’ve ever encountered. Coming from someone who reads as much as I do, that is saying a lot. In the tradition of Holden Caulfield, she is a true anti-hero. It’s not just that she dresses in Goth clothes or has tattoos & piercings that makes her different. Lisbeth has severe emotional and social problems, to the point that social services thinks she is mentally unstable and unable to care for herself.
At twenty-four years old and still a ward of the state, Lisbeth is assigned an abusive guardian who has complete control over her life. When her guardian goes too far, he finds out too late that he underestimated her capacity for revenge. For Lisbeth, he is just another example of men who hate women.
The character of Mikael Blomkvist is a nice balance to Lisbeth. He is calm and rational. He doesn’t over-react to Lisbeth’s apparent rudeness or lack of respect for his privacy. Over time, he becomes the one person she can actually trust.
While it took me a few chapters to get sucked in, this is a fast-paced thriller and easy to lose yourself in on a lazy weekend afternoon.
Overall, I give The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo…
Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks
Character Development – 5 bookmarks
Action – 3 bookmarks
Dream Cast ( otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Ellen Page (Lisbeth), Liam Neeson (Mikael), Vera Farmiga (Erika), Ian McKellen (Vanger), Helen Miren (Cecilia)