Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Review

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

- Stieg Larsson

Publisher: UK – Quercus

THE INDUSTRIALIST. Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.

THE JOURNALIST. Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers' past to uncover the truth behind the unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.

Okay, confession time. My reading choices can be easily influenced. First of all by the best sellers list; after all if everyone else buying them there must be something to the books, right? Secondly, by the web – everything from other blogs, reviews from online websites and even giveaway competitions (I’ve discovered some real gems by reading a book I’d won that I had no intention of ever purchasing!). Thirdly and finally, by my friends – if someone passes me a book and says that it’s good then it goes to the top of my TBR pile. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has topped the best sellers list for a while, has received predominantly positive reviews online, but I didn’t pick it up until a friend at work told me how good it was. So with hopefully anticipation I started reading...and, it’s OK.

It’s a different style than most books – it almost reads like a non-fiction at times sharing mostly what is happening to who and how. But little is said to how people are feeling – it is left up to the reader to interpret from the actions. This took me a while to get into the style of writing (or possibly translation?) and after a while it didn’t bother me. The story is almost “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” and layers are different from each other covering corporate fraud, a missing girl and a serial killer. The most intriguing of which to me was the missing girl. However, I found Blomkvist a little difficult to like. He seemed a little naive at times, and I never really felt like he was a real person. Little things annoyed me, like ignoring his daughter for most of the year. I couldn’t find myself taking to someone who never really thought about other people.

The character that was more fascinating is Lisbeth Salander, who comes over as a sociopath and a very different character than any other you’ll come across. And it is her who is the major draw to the book – not the mysteries which are solved pretty easily all things considered. It would only be interest in Lisabeth than might persuade me to pick up the next two books. Otherwise, it’s a perfect serviceable crime with a couple of scenes of extreme violence that might shock you.

Good for fans of Mark Billingham or Dennis Lehane. 6.5 out of 10.

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