Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Leann Manriquez, Opinion

Steig Larsson opens a new world of intrigue, deceit, and mystery in his book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  The book deals with Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist who, after damaging his career in a libel (a false statement or story that harms the reputation of a person) case, retreats to Hedestad, where he has been requested by Henrik Vanger to solve the murder case of his niece.

In an almost “Clue”-like way, Vanger tells the story of how a sudden clash of events lead to the disappearance and supposed death of his niece, Harriet Vanger.  The only suspects in the case are his own family members, most of whom Vanger hates. In a maze of names and connections, Mikael tries to sort out the most suspicious family members and motives that could have led to murder.  Elizabeth (Lisbeth) Salander, the “girl with the dragon tattoo,” is a ruthless, introverted genius hacker who teams up with Blomkvist in trying to uncover the Vanger secret. Here, Larsson creates a puzzle game that shows the reader how each step and piece of information found creates a hideous picture of what might have happened to Harriet.

Though the book starts off slow, with Blomkvist’s libel case, it ends slow but with a good cliffhanger, and leaves the reader wanting more. The book itself reveals to the reader the true inner workings of Sweden, and shifts our view of Sweden from a picturesque mountain country to cities that rivals the dangers of New York.

In an equally-as-thrilling novel, the sequel, The Girl who Played with Fire, will also leave the reader satisfied.