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The Girl with the Dragon Tattooby Stieg Larsson
In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, corporate intrigue, subtle psychology, explosive content, and a sensational heroine make for a high-caliber novel.
Synopses & Reviews
A sensation across Europe — millions of copies sold!
A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.
It's about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden...and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.
It's about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance...and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age — and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it — who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism — and an unexpected connection between themselves.
It's a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.
A Swedish industrialist named Henrik Vanger, on his 82nd birthday, receives a pressed flower in the mail, as he has for each of the 36 years since his beloved 16-year-old grand-niece Harriet vanished. This flower, like all the others, comes with no note, no return address and no fingerprints. After decades of futile investigations, Henrik has painfully concluded that Harriet is dead and the flowers... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) are the killer's way of tormenting him. This time, believing he has not long to live, the old man decides to make one last attempt to penetrate the mystery, and he turns for help to a disgraced Stockholm journalist, Mikael Blomkvist. Thus begins this remarkable first novel by the Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" has been a huge best-seller in Europe and will be one here if readers are looking for an intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller that is variously a serial-killer saga, a search for a missing person and an informed glimpse into the worlds of journalism and business. Henrik is the head of a large, multi-generational clan, most of whom hate one another and not without cause. Their history includes rape, incest, wife abuse and Nazism, and the old man suspects that a family member killed Harriet, for reasons unknown. The poignant Henrik is the first of several fine characterizations. Mikael, whose specialty as a journalist is economics, is a decent, principled fellow, but as the novel begins he's been convicted of libeling an industrialist named Wennerstrom. He thinks he was set up — deliberately fed false information — but he's sentenced to four months in prison. Before he serves his time, Henrik recruits him to investigate Harriet's disappearance. Mikael doesn't want the job, but Henrik offers him a fortune and, more important, promises him information that can bring down Wennerstrom. "I want you to find out who in the family murdered Harriet, and who since then has spent almost forty years trying to drive me insane," the old man says. In time we meet a fiendish and all too efficient serial killer, but the novel's most memorable character is the woman who provides its title. Lisbeth Salander is 24, anorexic, with dyed, cropped hair, a pierced nose and eyebrows, and too many tattoos to list. She's the most formidable hacker in Sweden, and her ability to (illegally) penetrate computers has made her a valued researcher for a security company. That's how she meets Mikael, who hires her to help with his investigation. Lisbeth resists all authority. As a child she was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where she refused to cooperate in any way. As an adult she is burdened with a court-appointed trustee who oversees her money, and after he rapes her, he pays dearly for his mistake. She is emotionally damaged, fragile, brilliant, capable of murder and entirely fascinating, particularly when she finds herself, to her astonishment, falling in love. Lisbeth is a punk Watson to Mikael's dapper Holmes, and she's the coolest crime-fighting sidekick to come along in many years. Harriet vanished one afternoon when the Vangers had gathered on a small island they control off the coast of Sweden. Henrik has regretfully concluded that she was murdered — why else would she not have contacted her family in 36 years? — but the reader has to wonder if she's still alive. Did she run off with a lover? Does she send those flowers each year herself? Mikael and Lisbeth's search for her is complex and wildly suspenseful. The Vanger family contains a rogue's gallery of possible murderers. Mikael, who's something of a ladies' man, lets himself be seduced by one of the more likable Vanger women but in time comes to suspect her along with the others. Inevitably, Mikael and Lisbeth do uncover leads that the police had missed, and their success puts their lives at risk. It's hard to find fault with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." One must struggle with bewildering Swedish names, but that's a small price to pay. The story starts off at a leisurely pace, but the reader soon surrenders to Larsson's skillful narrative. We care about his characters because we come to know them so well. The central question — what happened to Harriet? — is answered in due course, and other matters involving romance and revenge are wrapped up as well. It's a book that lingers in the mind. Stieg Larsson was the editor of an anti-racist magazine called Expo, an expert on right-wing extremists and Nazis and for 20 years the graphics editor of a Swedish news agency. He died of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 50, after delivering the manuscripts of this and two more novels that also feature Mikael and Lisbeth. Knopf plans to publish the other two, and it will be interesting to see if they equal the high standard set by "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Reviewed by Patrick Anderson,whose e-mail address is mondaythrillers(at symbol)aol.com, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"[R]emarkable...intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing....The story starts off at a leisurely pace, but the reader soon surrenders to Larsson's skillful narrative....It's a book that lingers in the mind." Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post Book World
"Sweden may be the land of blondes, Ikea, and the Midnight Sun, but Larsson, who died in 2004, brilliantly exposes its dark heart: sexual violence against women, a Nazi past, and corporate corruption. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"A blockbuster story....The plot is interesting and credible but above all the heroine is splendidly original....An extraordinary book." Literary Review
"Larsson has two great stories (and two star-worthy characters) here, and...the novel...offers compelling chunks of investigative journalism, high-tech sleuthing, and psychosexual drama." Booklist
"As vivid as bloodstains on snow." Lee Child
"This is a striking novel, full of passion, an evocative sense of place and subtle insights into venal, corrupt minds....The journalist and the hacker are ingenious creations." The Observer
"What a cracking novel! I haven't read such a stunning thriller debut for years. The way Larsson interweaves his two stories had me in thrall from beginning to end. Brilliantly written and totally gripping." Minette Walters
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a striking novel. Just when I was thinking there wasn't anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson with this wonderfully unique story. I was completely absorbed." Michael Connelly
"[A] big, intricately plotted, darkly humorous work, rich with ironies, quirky but believable characters and a literary playfulness that only a master of the genre and its history could bring off." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"[A] compelling, well-woven tale that succeeds in transporting the reader to rural Sweden for a good crime story." Los Angeles Times
In this European publishing sensation, a crusading journalist joins forces with a 24-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker to investigate the whereabouts of a missing woman from one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is now available in a complete hardcover set.
All across America, readers are talking about Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novels, set in Sweden and featuring Lisbeth Salander—“one of the most original and memorable heroines to surface in a recent thriller” (The New York Times). The trilogy is an international sensation that will grab you and keep you “reading with eyes wide open” (San Francisco Chronicle). “[It] is intricately plotted, lavishly detailed but written with a breakneck pace and verve” (The Independent, U.K.), but “be warned: the trilogy is seriously addictive.” (The Guardian, U.K.).
“Believe the hype . . . It’s gripping stuff.”
“Stieg Larsson clearly loved his brave misfit Lisbeth. And so will you.”
“Larsson has bottled lightning.”
—Los Angeles Times
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared without a trace more than forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to try to discover what happened to her. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist recently sidelined by a libel conviction, to investigate. Blomkvist is aided by the pierced and tattooed computer prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption on their way to discovering the truth of Harriet Vanger’s fate.
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Mikael Blomkvist, now the crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the murders. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. On her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and against the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.
“Unique and fascinating . . . Like a blast of cold, fresh air.”—Chicago Tribune
“Wildly suspenseful . . . Intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing.”
—The Washington Post
“A gripping, stay-up-all-night read.” —Entertainment Weekly
A sensation across Europe—millions of copies sold
A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.
Its about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.
Its about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriets disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.
Its a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.
About the Author
Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscript for this and two subsequent novels.
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