Book #25 was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first book in Stieg Larssonâ€™s Millennium trilogy.Â The back of the book reads:
A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.
Itâ€™s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.
Itâ€™s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harrietâ€™s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her ageâ€”and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with itâ€”who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialismâ€”and an unexpected connection between themselves.
Itâ€™s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.
This is a book I almost gave up.Â I listened to it on audio, and a few hours in I felt like I was still listening to background and set-up and was anxious for the story to get started.Â Thankfully, once it got rolling it was a snowball I couldnâ€™t stop. Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are very interesting charactersâ€¦ very alike in some ways, polar opposites in others.Â I spent a great deal of time wondering how their stories would be tied together, and I wasnâ€™t disappointed when they eventually were. The mystery of Harrietâ€™s disappearance was also very interesting, and the whole story is nothing you would ever expect when the investigation begins. I just had a couple of problems with itâ€¦ the author tends to refer to everyone by their last name, which is much harder for me to follow.Â For some reason, I just donâ€™t remember last names as well as first names, so every time someone was mentioned that we hadnâ€™t heard of in a while, I had to think for a minute about who they were talking about.Â Also, thereâ€™s a bit of a loose end with the Harriet investigation that I was expecting to be tied up that never was. I was expecting a small twist that never came.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this and look forward to reading the next two (assuming the third makes it through translation to English). The ending to this one was sad in a way I didnâ€™t expect, and Iâ€™m anxious to see what it means for Blomkvist and Salander. If you start reading this and struggle a bit through the beginning, just stick it outâ€¦ It gets so much better!
Audiobook length: 16hrs 19min | Approximate word count: 144,000