I've been out of commission for a while, and with good reason! I went traipsing around Europe after Christmas, and returned with bronchitis. That's what I get for being so fabulous.
During my time in bed, (a week and a half so far, because bronchitis loves to hang around for weeks and turn into lots of other lovely sicknesses), I finally got the chance to read a book that I have putting off for years. Yes, years. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I received this book to review years ago, and just kept avoiding it. I knew it was a trilogy, and I didn't know if I wanted to be sucked in. I am a busy girl after all, and I WILL become addicted to a series and not be able to do anything else but read until each book has ended. That is exactly what has happened to me with this series by the late Stieg Larsson.
I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the perfect time. The movie is already out on DVD, which I am sure will just piss me off like most movies based on books, but it will get me through until I have the time to read the next installment, The Girl Who Played with Fire. (Technically The Girl Who Played with Fire was reviewed on this blog in 2009 but it was from a friend's perspective, I have not read it yet myself).
The "girl" is named Lisbeth Salander, and she is as mysterious as these book titles. She's lived a tough life, growing up in foster care, and being taken advantage of because she is a bit strange, and female. She is excellent at her job as a researcher for a security company. Her boss does not understand her, but will give her space, and treats her with respect, something that is a rarity in Lisbeth's life.
This book is not solely about this socially awkward girl with a dragon tattoo. It begins with a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist who is on trial for libel, and is convicted. His misfortune is another mans gain, because he is desperate enough to take on an impossible job, hired by Henrik Vanger, of one of Sweden's wealthiest families. Blomkvist is to figure out what happened to a member of the family who vanished, thirty-six years before. Harriet Vanger disappeared when she was sixteen-years-old, without a trace. Her uncle, Henrik has been desperately trying to solve the case for decades. He is eighty-two years old and Blomkvist is his last hope.
The trails run cold for a while, and just as Blomkvist is realizing how stark raving mad he is to take on such a job, the trails turn from ice cold to burning hot. With the help of Salander and her impeccable research skills, they solve the case of Harriet Vanger. While doing so, they accidentally stumble across the answers to numbers of unsolved murders in Sweden.
Whatever you have imagined in your head, the story is ten times more awful and disgusting. Now, don't let that turn you off, I couldn't put this book down for days.