Monday, April 27, 2009

Kate meets Lisbeth ...

... and they hit it off: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

1 comment:

  1. I consider myself fortunate to have been among the early U.S. readers of Larsson's first installment in the Millenium trilogy. Here, appended below, is a clip of my review at BookLoons, one of North America's premier online book review sites:

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
    Order: USA Can
    Knopf, 2008 (2008)
    Hardcover, CD

    Reviewed by Tim Davis

    Every now and then an absolute gem emerges from the thousands of mysteries published each year by the many dozens of publishers in the world. The late Stieg Larsson's exquisite new novel is one of those rare treasures.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first volume in the Millennium Trilogy (named after the magazine where the protagonist works); already published to critical and popular acclaim in Scandinavian and European countries, an English translation (by Steven T. Murray) is now available to readers in North America and England.

    When the novel begins in Stockholm, two separate story lines begin to take shape. First, the investigative reporter and magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist has been convicted of libeling Hans Erik Wennerstrom, a disreputable but powerful businessman; now, with his professional and personal life in shambles, Mikael must figure out how to reestablish his reputation. Second, Lisbeth Salander has been establishing herself as a singularly effective though unconventional private investigator, and her tortured and tawdry past seems to be the perverse key to her peculiar success.

    Blomkvist is then surprised to find himself working on a special assignment on behalf of Henrik Vanger, an octogenarian industrialist who wants Blomkvist to do two things: write a history of the Vanger family (a family with plenty of secrets) and find out what really happened to Harriet Vanger (the sixteen year old granddaughter of Henrik's brother Richard) who disappeared from the family estate on Hedeby Island as 'if she had dissolved into thin air' nearly forty years earlier. Vanger promises to generously reward Blomkvist for his efforts, and - if he is successful - Vanger promises a bonus: important information about Hans Erik Wennerstrom that Blomkvist can use to vindicate himself and to destroy Wennerstrom.

    In a convergence of the two separate story lines, Blomkvist and Salander wind up working together on the case of Harriet Vanger, 'a sort of locked room mystery in {an} island format.' Soon, even as their relationship becomes more complicated and interesting, they begin to discover clues - especially through Bible verses and Biblical names - that will help them close in on someone who may be a sadistic serial murderer, a bloodthirsty person whose many victims may have included the missing Harriet Vanger. And just as Blomkvist and Salander are also about to expose some mind-boggling Vanger family secrets, they find themselves in very grave danger.

    Any amount of praise and superlatives are quite insufficient, but let me just say that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is dramatic, powerful, literate, complex, provocative, unique, and exciting. Even if you read a hundred others this year, you will not read a better mystery novel than Stieg Larsson's first installment in what promises to be an amazing trilogy. Don't miss it!