Monday, August 23, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I don't believe I have reviewed the mystery/crime genre before and I don't really know how to go about it. The emotions evoked by this genre are entirely different than romance, historical, biographical or other genres. There is no crying and no social appall at the actions of the villains. There are villains, of course, but the emotion is of a sharper sort. There is seldom a middle ground, a place where you contemplate if the villain is ignorant and/or misguided, or whether you yourself could conceivably be in the same place if not for the grace of God. No, the villains in this type of a novel are simply evil.

Stieg Larsson created a fascinating tale around the disappearance of a young woman in 1966. It is the first of a series of which he wrote three novels. He had considered these novels his "retirement" fund planning on writing ten. Unfortunately, for us as well as himself, he died prior to completing the series.

Blomkvist is an investigative journalist and has recently been found guilty of libel. His desire is to distance himself from his magazine to allow it to recover as he prepares for his jail time. It's during this period of time he is hired to solve the murder of Harriett Vanger nearly 40 years earlier.

Larsson introduces his audience to a wonderfully entertaining cast of characters. They are complex and well developed. They are people I came to care about or to dislike, making me happy or on edge each time the story came back around to them.

This is not a story that reveals itself too easily. As the mystery comes unravelled I experienced my "Oh-My-God!!" moments but I also had the satisfaction of an occasional "I knew it!" moment, too. If you are a fan of a well written mystery I think you will enjoy Larsson's book, and mourn that he had only written three.

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