It seems like every single person on the tube must have read this book at one stage or another. It’s certainly the series I recognise the most, partly a result of the unusual size and cover design since the Millennium book series is from an independent publisher, Maclehose imprint, which is unusual in this era.
The book is an old fashioned crime novel set amidst a turbulent financial and journalistic landscape. There are two main characters: a likeable but bland journalist called Mikael Blomkvist and the more interesting slightly autistic Lisbeth Salandar. It’s the latter character who is the more compelling and in this book her prestigious abilities with computers seems perfectly reasonable given her Asperger syndrome like behaviour. In later book as her skill set seems to expand to any area requiring intellect this does become a bit over the top.
The central mystery is gripping, well-structured and compelling although everything does finish around 80% of the way through the novel with the latter fifth being loose ends. Since we’re interested in the characters and their relationship however this is still interesting although slightly less page turning. Given the length of the novel it does seem like a couple of extra twists may have been beneficial as opposed to the lengthy first act and epilogue.
I’m not a huge mystery or thriller reader so can’t offer advice to frequent readers about whether the reveal in this novel with prove a surprise. I suspect not since the same trick of many crime novels is pulled. I’m sure there will be one or two unexpected turn of events for most readers, however.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an enjoyable and more-ish read with characters who I’ll be interested in following in future stories. Mystery veterans will probably have already devoured this although other than solid characterisation I doubt that there was much new here.