Larsson, Stieg. Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Knopf Doubleday.ISBN 9780307454546. 2005
Mikael Blomkvist, a financial reporter, was convicted of libel against a top Swedish industrialist. He is hired by Henrik Vanger to write his family history and investigate the unsolved disappearance/murder of his niece Harriet decades earlier. If he solves the case, Henrik will give Mikael the ammunition he needs for revenge. To do so, he will need the help of Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant anti-social investigator.
This was a book that I kept picking up, and then putting back down practically every time I was at a bookstore. Something kept drawing me to it, but the plot seemed a bit too complicated to hold my interest. I finally read it because it was my May book club selection, and I am glad I did. This book was captivating and easily one of the best books I've read this year.
I was warned in advance that it takes about 60 pages to get into the book, because of the need to set up the plot. I was hooked from page one. The characters are well fleshed out and wonderfully flawed, the plot is gritty and suspenseful and surprisingly dark. I figured out what happened to Harriet right away, but I didn't care- the book kept me guessing and enthralled throughout the book. The subject matter was particularly graphic and disturbing in the second half of the book, dealing with violence against women, and not for the faint of heart. If I have any complaint about the book, it's the ending. What happens after the mystery is solved just doesn't mesh with what Mikael is portrayed to be. Rating: 9/10
This book was so good that the second book in the trilogy (The Girl who Played with Fire) has jumped up to the top of my to be read list.