The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(From the back cover)
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 inquiry and corruption.
Having seen copies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or it's squeal The Girl Who Plays with Fire everywhere in the past few weeks i decided I needed to check it out. It's an intriguing set of mysteries. The books original Swedish title translated to Men Who Hate Women, and that theme is ever present through the book in the mysteries that Mikael and Lisbeth are trying to solve.
In the beginning it seems like there is far to much story to cover. There's the libel case that Blomkivist has just lost against the corporate giant Wennerstrom, there is Harriet Vanger who is dead or missing and comes from a dysfunctional family that also happens to own a large business, and there is Salander who is always distant and defiant. I'm impressed at how Larsson connected all of these stories and made them into something worth reading. Some parts could drag, and if I had to read about how Blomkivist didn't think he could solve this case one more time I may have set the book down, never to finish.
The Vanger family is very interesting. It's a huge family (with a small family tree in the front of the book) and everyone has secrets. I had a hard time trusting any of them throughout, not even Henrik Vanger, the lovable old man who has brought in Blomkivist. Henrik's obsessive nature makes him someone you need to watch. The fact that Blomkivist agrees to work for him shows of his trusting nature, and makes him the biggest contrast for the interdependent Salander.
That's it for my attempt at a spoiler free review. It's vague but pretty much every plot point was important in the bigger picture.