Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
This was a different sort of book for me, but I did find myself enjoying it once I got well into it. I have to say the first 150 pages were filled with background information on the two characters that I feel was only necessary to know to understand events more towards the end of the novel, and after completion of the main mystery.
After Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist, is convicted of libel he abandons his post as editor of the magazine Millenium, and is contracted to investigate a disappearance that happened over forty years ago. Unable to rest until the mystery is solved, Henrik Vanger convinces Blomkvist to work on a history of his family while investigating the disappearance of his most beloved niece. But when Mikael stumbles upon a list of Harriet’s with women’s names and numbers with no explanation, he employs Lisbeth Salander to help him, and in turn they find a harrowing reality too crazy to believe.
This was an interesting mystery that was so odd that it was compelling and after getting through all the background information, I found myself completely engrossed. I like Blomkvist because he was pretty much a straight shooter. And although he was driven to investigate to further his own agenda, I could appreciate that once he started to gain new ground in the mystery surrounding Harriet Vanger, he was determined to see it through despite the increasing danger to his own life.
Lisbeth was altogether different and I’m still not quite sure what to think of her. She’s actually really brilliant, but very odd. She’s had a hard childhood and thus balks at anyone trying to structure her life in any way, and she has no regard for authority. She works as a freelance researcher for Milton Securities, and manages to obtain details about her subjects that wouldn’t be readily available to anyone. She’s very anti-social and closed off to people emotionally, so I was surprised when she began developing feelings for this journalist twice her age. I’m still not sure what to think about the relationship beetween Salander and Blomkvist as neither are the romantic type. They did seem to cultivate a comfortableness and contentment with each other, but I wasn’t drawn in because there really was no chemistry.
The mystery and the events surrounding what happened to Harriet Vanger were completely mesmerizing. I was totally drawn into the story and was bumfuzzled when they stumbled upon a connection with Harriet Vanger and a stream of women who had all died brutally and under mysterious circumstances. The deeper they dug into Vanger’s case, the more I found myself connecting to the story and fearing for the characters.
Overall, while there is a good chunk of filler information, once the main story gets under way, it’s hard to tear yourself away from it. I was satisfied with the way it all wrapped up, but am curious on how they will continue the story of this peculiar girl and savvy journalist. This would be a good pick for someone who loves a good mystery/thriller. I’m not anxious to get the follow-up, but I will definitely read it sometime in the future.
Books in This Series:
Filed in: Books to Movie, Fiction, Mystery, Reviews Tags: Books, Fiction, Mystery, Review, Stieg Larsson