I used to read more mysteries than I do now and I am so glad that I picked up a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is a hard review to write as I don't want to give too much away as to spoil the story for those who haven't read the book yet. This book has a slow start, a few friends warned me that the first 150 pages would be slow and it was. It was filled with lots of information but I still found it interesting and wasn't tempted to put it down. So, if you're reading it and find the beginning slow...don't give up, it gets SO much better!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoowas truly spellbinding to me...it pulled me in and I couldn't put the book down near the end. This book covers it all including murder mystery, family sagas, family secrets, love story and financial intrigue and mystery. There are several story lines within the book that I didn't have a problem balancing as I read. There is the storyline of Mikael a political and financial journalist who is charged with Libel. He runs and co-owns a magazine called Millenium, thus the series is referred to as the Millenium series. Mickael is hired to investigate a missing person case and the woman has been missing for over 40 years.
My favorite storyline and character is Lisbeth a twenty-something pierced and tattooed young woman with a horrible past full of secrets. She is intriguing and mysterious and her mind works at a genius level including her computer hacking abilities. Her social skills are limited and this causes her a lot of problems. Her past gets intertwined into the story as she teams up with Mikael to help him solve the missing person case.
There are definitely disturbing parts to this book that are graphic in nature so be forewarned if this is something that bothers you. I usually don't tolerate graphic abuse very well and there are definitely squeamish and violent scenes in this book but the storyline was so amazing and intelligent that these dark aspects didn't destroy my opinion of the book . There was a lot of violence towards women in this book and it seemed excessive. The ugly side of human nature shines through loudly. I can understand why the title was originally called "Men who hate women" when it was first published in Sweden.
Sadly, Stieg Larsson was a Swedish writer and journalist and died before the Millenium Trilogy was published. There are two other books in the trilogy The Girl who Played with Fire (which I just finished and will have a review posted shortly) and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest which is to be released in paperback in the U.S. at the end of October.