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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO By: Stieg Larsson April 18, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     This is one happy instance where both the book and the movie come highly recommended. But any further use of the word happy ends there. This story is a mystery thriller about a ruined journalist and a troubled young woman who makes her living as a computer hacker (a really, really good computer hacker.) The journalist is hired to solve the 40-year-old mystery of the disappearance of a girl named Harriet Vogel, and every member of her family, living and dead, is a suspect.  There is mystery, intrigue, sex, violence, suspense, scenes that are painful to watch or read, and twists and turns that pop up long after one had expected the story to be settled.  If you opt to see the Swedish made movie, it is long at two and a half hours, but this viewer sat rapt, and had no concept of time until after she had exited the theater and saw the clock in her car. There are subtitles to be read, but the plot, acting, and Niels Arden Opley’s brilliant direction makes it worth seeing even for those of you who consider subtitles a chore.

     The next two books, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST are either out, or will be out soon, and the films, also starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace, will follow.

     Swedish author, Stieg Larsson, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 50. He was an investigative journalist and one of the world’s leading experts on anti-democratic, right-wing extremists and neo-nazi organizations, and had lived under the shadow of death threats for years. As a result of the threats, he sought and was granted that his public records be made secret. Under Swedish law, a married couple’s address must be made public, so for safety’s sake, he never married his longtime companion, Eva Gabrielson. Unfortunately, he left no valid will, so all his possessions passed to his estranged father and brother, including the computer that contained the nearly finished fourth novel that was to follow this Millennium Trilogy. Gabrielson and the heirs are currently in dispute over that computer.

     Larsson had outlined a total of ten books featuring Lisbeth Salander and Mikel Blomqvist, two characters that not only capture the hearts and imaginations of readers and movie buffs with what is known of them, but are also captivating for the thick aura of mystery that surrounds them for the parts of their tales as yet left untold — especially Lisbeth! Let us all hope that vengeance, greed, and simple orneriness does not bring this compelling series to a halt, and that at least the fourth book will be brought to print, because such highly intelligent and incredibly plotted tales are precious and rare.

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