by Stieg Larsson
Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues.
--The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson (translated by Reg Keeland)
Copyright © 2008 Stieg Larsson
Okay, what can I tell you about this book that you haven’t already heard, read about or seen in the movie (either version)?
Mikael Blomkvist has just been convicted of libel and his career as a financial journalist and magazine owner appear to be over, or at least severely decimated. After convincing his business partner that he needs time away, he accepts an offer from Henrik Vanger. Several decades ago, Vanger’s niece, Harriet, disappeared without a trace. He wants to hire Blomkvist to find out what happened to Harriet. He has a year and he’ll receive a hefty salary, no matter the outcome of his investigation. Since Vanger wants the investigation kept secret, Blomkvist’s cover story is that he’s writing a biography of the family.
Lisbeth Salander is getting-by-just-fine-thank-you on the fringes of society. Overly, she works for Milton Securities as an office junior but in reality, she conducts investigations for the firm. She did one on Mikael Blomkvist for Vanger’s lawyer prior to him being hired and she got to know him quite well through her investigation. Her mother lives in a nursing home and she’s under the guardianship of the state because she has been declared mentally incompetent. She’s not insane, just different, and if people would just leave her alone, she could do just fine for herself. But when her guardian suffers a stroke and she’s assigned to a new guardian, things go from okay to worse.
It takes him some time, but Blomkvist finally uncovers a lead that may answer Henrik’s question. He goes so far with the lead, but then come up short. When he asks Henrik’s lawyer if he knows a good investigator, he reluctant admits that a woman for Milton Securities is the best he’s seen. Her name? Lisbeth Salander. She did his background check. Blomkvist demands to see her report. In reading it, he finds one tiny tidbit of information that could only have come from one place…his own personal computer.
Incensed and intrigued, he arranges to meet and hire Salander to be his research assistant. Together, they uncover the mystery of Harriet’s disappearance, which is part of a conspiracy neither could ever have imagined.
I have no choice but to join the legions of people who have read the books and seen the movies and loved the story. Yes, it’s hard to read in some spots due to the graphic nature of the crime involved in Harriet’s disappearance, not to mention all those Swedish names, but it’s worth the time and trouble. If you haven’t read the story yet, I strongly recommend it.
I give this story FOUR and a HALF STARS.