Friday, November 12, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Book Review

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

Audio Book Read by Simon Vance

Rating: 5/5

Quote from Book: "To Sally, who showed me the benefits of the sport of golf."

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo explores Sweden's dark side. The country's cold winter landscape provides a stark backdrop for this story that kept me up at nights. I'm probably one of the last bloggers to read Stieg Larsson's compelling drama. Now I'm hooked on the series.

There are family secrets to uncover here, a mystery to solve, corruption to expose and justice to deliver. 

What happened to Harriet when she disappeared 40 years ago?

Henrik, her uncle, wants to know. He's been receiving Harriet's signature gift on his birthday, a framed flower, every year since her disappearance. Now 82, he may not have much time left to find out Harriet's fate which has alluded the authorities all of these years.

Enter Blomkvist, a journalist convicted of libel with spare time on his hands. Henrik hires him to write the family biography and secretly delve into the mystery of Harriet's disappearance.

Helping him is "the girl with the dragon tattoo," Lisbeth Salander. Only in her 20's she proves to be a formidable and brilliant researcher. Salander has a way of leaving a mark on those who do her wrong. It's all justified.

Larsson's writing is impressive.

He expertly weaves together the investigation. I was amazed how Blomkvist could identify someone in a photograph taken over 40 years ago for example.

Not only does Blomvkist and Salander solve Harriet's disappearance, they also uncover corruption, sexual violence, and clear Blomkvist's name. The violence is intense.

I listened to the audio version on Audible narrated by Simon Vance.

It was compelling and I had a difficult time hitting the stop button. I was always looking for excuses to come back and listen. Vance did an expert job reading the novel, especially the voices of the male characters.

Possible Spoiler Alert Follows: If you read the book what do you think about this question?

I asked myself what I would do if I knew the identity of a sexual predator. Would I go to the authorities to stop the violence and save lives, or remain quiet if exposure would mean jail time for a murder I committed. This is the decision one character made in the book. I won't say who.

Other Reviews:

Rose City Reader

(FTC: I signed up for a free one-month membership on Audible and downloaded the audio on my iPhone. This was the October book selection for our Lihue Library book group).


  1. I just read this one too and liked it well enough, although I don't, as a rule, like books with serial killers in them. I explain more in my review, here.

    As for your spoiler question: I'd like to think I'd turn in the bad guy, despite my own predicament. In the book, I thought that situation was lame, because the character in the predicament would never have been tried for murder -- way too easy to claim self defense.

    Can I list your review on mine? If so, please leave a comment on mine with a link to yours so I remember to add it. Thanks!

  2. Good point Rose City Reader, especially coming from an attorney. I think the character involved showed a complete lack of judgment.

    Thanks for linking to my post. I've reciprocated.

    Aloha from Rob

  3. This novel supplies a genealogical table for keeping track of the numerous members of the five generation-old Vanger family who are under investigation.

  4. I have these books at the top of my list for my vacation at the beginning of the year!

    Also, thanks for the card for the holiday card exchange!


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