What’s it about? The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (originally titled “Men Who Hate Women”) is an award-winning mystery by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. The book is titled after the character Lisabeth Salander, a societal outcast and social ward of the State, uncivilized without any desire to obey societal norms, and replete with piercings, tattoos, and a goth/biker appearance. Lisabeth teams up with Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist who has watched his professional life rapidly crumble around him, to investigate a 40-year old mystery – the disappearance of Harriet Vanger from a family gathering. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. However, not everyone is happy that Blomkvist and Salander are digging around in the past.
Is the narrator any good? Saul Reichlin brings this book to life in a wonderful way. It is easy to distinguish between characters, despite a variety of accents (Swedish, Irish, Australian, Russian, etc.) and Reichlin does this without making them into caricatures. Overall, it was a pleasure listening to Reichlin read this book.
The verdict? You’ve probably heard all the rave reviews surrounding this book (and the others in The Trilogy); believe them! This is a thrilling and addictive mystery with characters who are both greatly enduring and refreshingly different. Warning: this book does start very slowly, but if you push through this you will be rewarded.