Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Wednesday Apr 28 2010
by Jo Davies-Stuchbery

Being fairly new to the murder-mystery genre, I wasn't expecting much from Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". By the last page, I was dying to read the next in the trilogy and saddened to hear that all three novels had been published posthumously. Larsson managed to grab my attention from the get-go. An old man opens a mysterious parcel which turns out to contain a framed dried flower. Why is he so disturbed? Why does he weep? Apparently, it all goes back to the sudden disappearance of his niece, Harriet Vanger, over forty years before. It will take two more major characters (Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced financial journalist; and Lisbeth Salander, a punk rock computer hacker turned researcher) and a whole whack more plot twists and turns before we find out what happened to Harriet and Larsson manages to wrap up all the loose ends he's created. I especially liked Lisbeth, despite the fact that she's got enough baggage for Air Canada. Her impatience with the men around her (along with a disturbing side plot involving her guardian) underscores Larsson's anti-misogyny without being obvious. My only complaint? Larsson spends far too much time talking about technology that's used, which tends to date the novel. Other than that small quibble, GWTDT is like a great ink job: striking, stylish and hard to forget.

(This review comes via Whodunit customer Jo Davies-Stuchbery. Want to contribute a review to the website? Email me at and we may post it!)

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