A Satisfying if Gruesome Mystery

Just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I actually read as Les hommes qui n’aimaient pas les femmes—Millenium 1 in the French version, translated from the original Swedish. The author Stieg Larsson very suddenly died of a heart attack shortly after handing over all three parts of the Millenium trilogy to his publisher in 2004. The book starts off quite slowly, with a lot of talk about journalism and big business, which would normally have turned me off completely if it weren’t for the fact that I knew it was important for the rest of the story and that much more thrilling fare lay ahead. A journalist called Michael Blomkvist is contacted one day by an aging and retired former industry magnate to investigate his niece’s disappearance 40 year ago. Henrik Vanger doesn’t actually expect anything to come from this search, but sees it as a final attempt to put the mystery, which has been obsessing him since 1966, to rest before he passes away. Michael is less than thrilled to be handed a seemingly unsolvable cold-case, but soon, with the help of the girl with the dragon tattoo, aka Lisbeth Salander, a researcher/hacker extraordinaire, they uncover a family history that is more gruesome than anyone could have imagined. It was highly entertaining and I also enjoyed the Swedish setting and characters, which made for both a great crime fiction and a travel book rolled into one.

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