Friday, December 10, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

One thing I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of mysteries. But I do get curious on occasion. Take for example my wife. She's an avid reader like me. She also introduced me to such books as Catcher in The Rye and T is for Trespass. So, when I saw her reading a hefty tome that had just a title and no cover art I asked her what she was reading.

"Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
"Is it any good?"
"I dunno. I bought it cause it was six bucks."

As the nights passed I noticed that she read for longer periods. Sometimes, when we were both reading in the front room, I'd catch her gasp or groan as if she were living in the novel itself. After she was finished, she ran out and bought the next book in the series: The Girl who Played with Fire.

She told me that the first book was intense. I believed it and decided to take the dip. The story revolves around three central characters: An old, retired billionaire who is trying to solve a case over forty years cold, a investigative reporter who is called upon to take on the task and a girl who has a troubled past but mainly keeps to herself. She also works for a security company gathering data on clients and is a hacker.

I won't say that this book CAPTURED me right away until around page 180, when Lisbeth Salander, the hacker girl, convinces me that there's more to her story.

This book, by late author Stieg Larsson, took a while to get going but once it did, hoo, it did not let up. There are a lot of details in the case and a hell of a lot of exposition but that further saturates this book in realism. Compared to the mystery books of today, which are few and far between, this is the first one that really got me interested. It has the sharpness of a Sherlock Holmes book but has the atmosphere of an Agatha Christie novel. Yet it is set in 2007.

Lisbeth may very be the new flawed heroine of our time, she has the draw of Hannibal Lecter where you know she's smart and you know there is more to be said but she keeps a lot of information hidden for her own personal reasons. She is by far, one of the most original characters I've read in a mystery yarn. Do yourself a favor and read this book and find out why a Girl with a Dragon Tattoo would play with fire or kick a Hornet's nest.

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