The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Book Review



Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Genre/Pages: Crime Fiction/672

Publisher: Vintage

Publishing Date: November 22, 2011

Rating: 3.5 Spines

Tammy’s One-Sentence synopsis: A journalist and a hacker combine their skills to solve a murder mystery that has been plaguing an old tycoon for over 40 years.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

You might be wondering why I would give such a popular book such a “low” rating since it also has a movie that was made of it. I must say I did enjoy the book but the first 10 chapters of the book were extremely slow to read. Yes, I do understand that one must have background information to understand what the book is going to be about.

I understand that Mr. Larsson needed to introduce the two (2) main characters to us and give us the information that we needed. I did not find the book all that interesting until after Blomkvist is hired by Mr. Vanger to help him write an autobiography about the family and the real reason for his hiring Mr. Blomkvist to find out what happened to his niece Harriet Vanger over 40 years ago.

I was wondering how Salander and Blomkvist were going to come together and work on this project together. I liked how they joined, but I am left wondering why Mr. Larsson would start a romantic relationship between the two and then cool off the jets. The way he describes Salander there would be a curious reason on why she would fall for Blomkvist in the first place. She knew the relationship between Blmkvist and Berger. Knowing the relationship, I do not see her “falling” for Blomkvist.

Once Salander and Blomkvist really get deep into their investigation, I could not put down the book. I wanted to know what was happening and how it will happen and what was going on. I am a lover of murder mystery novels, to the point that I usually know how the mystery is going to be solved and the who done-it part of it also rather quickly. But, alas, this was not the case with this book. Mr. Larsson had me guessing up to a certain part of the book when it is revealed all the facts of the case! I truly enjoyed that part of the book.

I must say that this is a book that should be on your to read list. I have his other two (2) books in the series sitting and waiting for me to read! I am most anxious to get to read those books and hope that he is just as entertaining in those as he was in this one. I am even interested in watching the movie now. So, I might write a review about the movie after I watch it. Come on back and see if I did.

You can find The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo here.



Book review contributed by A Fold in the Spine. This blog offers book reviews, guest posts, author interviews, giveaways, twitter blasts, book blitzes, and book cover reveals.


15 thoughts on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Book Review

  1. I completely agree with your assessment of the initial slowness. Until Larsson introduced Lisbeth, the book was tediously slow. I didn’t have any interest in the security company and was unsure why it took nearly a hundred pages for the novel to become engaging, but once it did I couldn’t put it down. Additionally, I understood why he spent so much time on the initial introductions though I’m still not sure if I’d find it engaging in reread.

    I think the relationship between Salandar and Blomkvist was there to show how aeclectic his tastes were? Maybe? It was very odd reading that book as an American, but odd in a good way. Blomkvist had many relationships, but he wasn’t what I’d consider a womanizer. His relationship with his boss was very interesting, too, especially insofar as her husband knew about it and it was acceptable. I really love that other point of view on things, because those kinds of relationships are perhaps more common/open in Sweden. The later books show more dynamics, as well. I’m not sure if you’ve read them so I don’t want to give anything away.


  2. I just read the fourth book in the series that was written by another author after the original author’s death. It doesn’t quite live up to the series as there is not enough of ‘the girl’ featured in it.


  3. This is one of those series that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to get myself into. I loved the original movies (haven’t seen the reboot, yet), and I own the books. Its really just getting past the first one that is difficult for me. I (like a couple other people I see on this thread) have started and stopped reading it a couple of times. I really need to just sit down and immerse myself in it.


  4. I was late to this book as well, finished it just over a year ago. I enjoyed reading it at work ( :) ) I dipped in and out, so I found the pacing was good. Really enjoyable and a different feel to it than books by US/UK authors which was refreshing. Lisbeth is a fantastic character.
    If you watch the movie watch the Swedish version, the Fincher version is awful.


  5. Lisbeth is one of my favorite characters of the last decade. In the book and the movies (both Swedish and English) I couldn’t take my eyes off her every move; what would come next? How would she react? Loved her. The relationship between her and Blomkvist revealed a good deal about each character; his casual philandering ways and her profound vulnerability. But wrapped in that vulnerability was a dangerously wounded child. He had no idea, nor likely did he care, that she was as deeply involved as she was. She had seen little kindness or love in her life so when he offered tenderness, she mistook it for love. This is always a dangerous game, remember Glen Close in Fatal Attraction… Anyway, I loved the revealing relationship between Lisbeth and Blomkvist, it was dangerous, prickly and yet as gentle as one can be with a porcupine. Loved the books and the movies.


  6. Great review. Larsson’s writing style has a tendency to give the background life story of almost every character in the novel, no matter how long (or short) their appearance is in the story. It gives a great overseeing view for readers so there is little confusion in such a complicated story, but it can also get tiring.
    Check out my old review too, if you have time!


  7. Hi. Great review. Yes, definitely watch both movies and then blog about all 3 versions. I watched the Swedish movie but haven’t found time for the American one. I also want to pickup the 4th book in the series even if it’s written by someone else. I love the characters. -j


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