Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

I'm not sure how to write about this series without my blog entry being reduced to a huge pile of superlatives, but let's just say I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books and that in spite of my very strict refusal to buy books over the past year or two I am seriously considering ordering the third from the UK rather than wait until the book is released here in May.

This is a modern series of mysteries featuring an investigative journalist called Mikael Blomkvist and a very young, brilliant woman who appears to have some form of high-functioning autism. Her name is Lisbeth Salander and she is a gifted hacker and investigator, tunneling her way into people's private lives on behalf of a Stockholm security company. Lisbeth is "The Girl" of the titles and is a truly fascinating and unique character.

I wish I had the spare time to get into a more detailed review of these books and what made them so riveting to read. Larsson has a quirky writing style which includes some potentially off-putting habits, like making detailed lists of what a character purchased in a shop or giving far too much technical detail about the computers they use. There's also a certain frustration in reading a book that contains frequent references to Swedish towns I have never heard of, without any real explanation of where they are because the author assumes that his reader is Swedish and knows what he's talking about. I honestly can't say these things bothered me much, and I think it's because Larsson so easily drew me into his world and his characters were so utterly believable and interesting.

Highly recommended. I am extremely eager to read book three.

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