‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson is the first book in the Millennium Trilogy. Industrialist Henrik Vanger hires journalist Mikael Blomkvist to investigate the past of the Vanger family under the pretense of writing a book on the family chronicles. However, the real reason is that he wants Blomkvist to investigate the Vanger family due to the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, his grand-niece, several years ago. Vanger is certain she has been murdered. And by a family member.
Blomkvist is not keen on taking on the case but does so despite his better judgement because he is offered a bone…information on a tycoon who ended up suing Blomkvist for libel for an article on him in his magazine, Millennium. Henrik Vanger prior to hiring Blomkvist, had him checked out by Lisbeth Salander, a freelance private investigator for Milton Security. Lisbeth is not your average 25 year old woman. Not the most social person on the planet, she has her ways and means of finding out information about the people she is employed to do so. A number of tattoos on her body, a mysterious past and a demeanour where she will not let anybody get emotionally close to her, she remains an intriguing person. Blomkvist later employs her services to assist him with research on the Vanger family.
While Blomkvist initially has no illusions about being able to find a murderer…even if there was one…from almost 40 years ago, he realises that he has stumbled into something possibly quite sinister as his life is threatened. He is obviously closing in on someone and so begins a roller coaster of a ride.
What did happen to Harriet Vanger all those years ago?
Was she murdered? And if so why?
Who in the Vanger family is responsible for this?
And again, why did they want her dead?
Does her death or disappearance have anything to do with some other deaths in Sweden back then?
All these questions and so many more make it an entertaining and gripping tale. It is definitely a page-turner and keeps you guessing about the whys and the whats and the whos and the hows. Just as a thriller should. I got through the book in a couple of days just because I was unable to put it down. The characters are quite interesting although I will admit I couldn’t really empathise with them much. Salander is an intriguing character for sure and you want to know more about her and how she manages to gather such detailed and yet private information about people. Most of her past is not revealed and keeps you wanting to know more.
All in all, a great thriller which also manages to give you chills down your spine on certain occasions. I rate it a 4.
Until next time,