Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson Good characterization throughout, especially with the women. A thriller with layers and layers of subplots, but the central mystery uncovered is about a serial killer. The author creates a truly kickass heroine who may or may not have Aspergers, but who is tattooed and pierced and not someone who will put up with the abuse and mistreatment of women. There's also some friends with benefits type of sexual arrangements between various people which I have not seen in a mainstream thriller. Is this indicative of lifestyle in Sweden, where it's set? One can only hope.  

Also liked the high-finance description of Swedish corporate life, the look at investigative reporting there, as well as the glance at their judicial system particularly in regard to "guardianship."  

On a side note, we see a lot of the mundane side of life in small town Sweden, and the food that goes with it. The cuisine was abhorrent. I could handle the lamb chops cooked in red wine sauce, but the kipper, cheese and pickle sandwiches I'll skip on a visit there. They drank so much coffee in the book, I felt an attack of acid reflux imminent.  

The book suffered from poor editing, and the translation seemed stilted in parts. Still, the author kept up the suspense and once we got past the boring details of financial misbehavior, there was sufficient momentum to carry the reader into the real mysteries of the Vanger family's assorted Nazis, social isolates, misogynistic paterfamilias, alcoholics, and cold-hearted mothers.