The book started out a touch slow. The language was a bit cumbersome at first, and the story didn’t hook me instantly. Instead it had to fill the reader in on some background information, and the author decided to do that first, even though it was a bit boring and confusing as to where it was leading. But, once I got about 20 pages in to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I was hooked. The story weaves together a wronged journalist, a disturbed 20-something private investigator/researcher and a powerful Swedish family. Together they try to solve a 40-year-old mystery of a missing girl. You wouldn’t think a cold case like this would be that interesting to read about, especially when things take place in the frozen tundra of northern Sweden, but it was, in fact, very engaging.
I enjoyed all the characters. The powerful family, the Vanger’s, have a weave of interesting members and the reader, along with the journalist Blomkvist, get to learn all about their dark little secrets. The mystery is a good one, and while I did suspect the true ending right away, there were still plenty of surprises in store. There are also a few other minor mysteries that weave throughout the main story, and though they’re not quite as interesting, they don’t take away from the enjoyment of the story by any means.
The detailed writing and family mystery reminds me of other authors I enjoy, like Tana French and Stephen Carter. And while the book was pretty graphic in violence, especially violence against women, it wasn’t too harsh that it made me want to put the book down. I have the second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and the third comes out in May. Both continue to follow Lisbeth, the researcher, and Blomkvist, so I’m very excited to read those, too.