I believe I first heard of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from The Merchant of Menance, the newsletter published by the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore in Toronto. I was swept away when I started reading the book.
I am finding it interesting to go back 6 years to see my reactions at that time. I invite readers to comment on their reactions to the series as I spend a couple of weeks in thriller Sweden with one of the great duos in crime fiction.
****12. - 475.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – A remarkable debut crime thriller. The characters are amazing. Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist bound for jail for aggravated libel of Wennerstrom. Lisbeth Salander is a brilliant 25 year old investigator still deemed incompetent because of her resolute refusal to conform to society’s norms and absolute unwillingness to explain herself to experts. Henrik Vanger, an elderly Swedish industrialist, uses Salander to investigate Blomkvist and then hires him to determine what happened to his niece, Harriet, 37 years ago when she disappeared from their island home in northern Sweden. For over 30 years he has received a rare pressed flower on his birthday. With no better prospects and wanting to get away for awhile Blomkvist undertakes the study. He dreams of how he will get back at Wennerstrom who set him up for the libel conviction. At the same time Salander is dealing with personal challenges. The story accelerates to a page turner when they start working together. In addition to the complex plot each has a complicated personal life. Relationships are unusual. Blomkvist has a loving relationship with Erika Berger though she is married and her husband is aware of the relationship. Salander is a personality that defies easy description. The plot twists and explodes with excitement. I was reminded of some of the financial thrillers of Michael Thomas. I understand it was the first of a triology. I can hardly wait for the translation of the second. I read with regret that the author died just after delivering the books to be published. What a great pair of mysteries from Sweden this year. Hardcover. (Mar. 16/09) (With The Girl Who Played with Fire Best fiction of 2009)