Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy has appeared on numerous bestseller lists and when you read the books, it’s obvious why. Stieg Larsson has created three gripping novels, with characters that are both compelling and realistic and  intricate plots that twist and turn at every corner. The execution is superb: intelligent, witty and vivid. All the novels are set in Sweden and many many of places mentioned are real.

The first novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” begins as journalist Michael Blomkvist  is sued for libel by industrial giant Hans Wennerström over allegations of corruption and swindling. Shortly afterwards, Blomkvist is approached by Henrik Vanger, head of the Vanger corporation, who is convinced that the death of his niece Harriet 40 years ago was no accident, but that she was actually murdered by a member of the family.  He is asked by Vanger to carry out his own investigation under the pretence of writing a book about the Vanger family history.While Blomkvist is going through the evidence, he realises he needs a research assistant; it is at this point he is introduced to the enigmatic Lisbeth Salander, an exceptional computer hacker. As the pair delve deeper and deeper into the mystery, it becomes clear that someone is desperate to hide the truth and will go to any lengths to keep a terrible secret from being revealed.

The second novel, “The Girl who Played with Fire,” focuses on the double murders of journalist Dag Svensson and doctorate student Mia Johansson, who are found shot dead in their apartment by Blomkvist. He believes the motive behind their murders is connected to the expose they were writing on sex trafficking, which was due to be published in his magazine, Millenium. The situation becomes complicated when Salander’s fingerprints are found on the gun;  Blomkvist is sure of her innocence but to the Swedish police she is the prime suspect.While he attempts to track Salander down before the police do, it becomes clear she is the key to a shocking government cover-up linked to Säpo, the state security police.

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