The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo first drew my attention through all the media hype surrounding both the books and the movie. I grew curious enough that finally, upon finding a copy among a selection of used books, I gave in and picked it up. It’s described on the back cover as “a sexy, addictive thriller,” and “a blazing literary sensation.” It sounded fun, and exciting. So I added it to my 2017 Reading Challenge.
Given this high praise, I was a little surprised by how slow this book opened. I was a good third of the way through it before it finally snagged my attention. This could be the slowest book I’ve ever stuck with. It opens with a huge chunk of financial intrigue that I had a hard time wading through. Honestly, I wondered what all the hype was about this book. But I pressed on.
The story opens with the main character, Mikhael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist, who has just been convicted of libel and has been sentenced to pay reparations as well as serve some prison time. There is a detailed account of how Blomkvist got to this point before moving on to the story’s main events.
The narrative jumps between Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, a researcher for a security company. Salander is far from an ordinary character. She’s not especially likeable or even relatable. But she is interesting and compelling.
It isn’t until about half way through the story that these two major characters meet for the first time. Salander is aware of Blomkvist, but not vice versa. And neither has ever met the other. The story seems to sort of circle them around each other, drawing them nearer with each pass, until finally, their paths intersect.
This is the point at which the story truly gains momentum. From here to the end, things are happening at last and the story is propelled forward at a much quicker pace. It finally becomes that thrilling ride promised on the back cover.
Overall, the book is well written. The characters are interesting, if slightly over-played. I enjoyed this book, and I am curious to see where the characters will go from here. I’ll likely be reading the next book in the series at some point.