The Millennium Trilogy: Part 1 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Part 2 – The Girl who played with Fire

Part 3 –   The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series are one of the few book trilogies that has got me so excited that I spend days curled up in bed, marathon reading the entire series of 3 books.  I was first introduced to Stieg Larsson’s novels in 2010, by a colleague who swore I have ‘got to’ read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – and she gave me her kindle to read (we swapped kindles). I pretty much had to apologize for 2 weeks on end for keeping her kindle for so long, long after she gave mine back. See… once you have read the first book you will, no doubt, want to read the rest…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson’s debut thriller, is an absolute page-turner. I find this book an excellent crime novel, packed with mysterious characters, gruesome crime scenes and cringe-worthy events that leaves me without any surprise as to why this book won numerous awards such as the Swedish ‘Glass Key Award’ for the best crime novel of the year, the Galaxy British Book Award ,an Anthony Award for the Best First Novel and the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for the International Author of the Year (source: Wikipedia)

 

–Please note this part contain spoilers, if you plan on still reading the book…

Mikael Blomkvist –  a respected and well-known journalist, finds himself disgraced after he loses a libel case, against an industrialist (Hans-Erik Wennerström) who he allegedly accused of corruption.  This public scandal brought Mikael to the attention of a businessman – Henrik Vanger – who hires him to look into the disappearance of his niece Harriet, over 40 years ago.

Henrik who believes it’s one of his family members that murdered Harriet, offers Mikael a large amount and evidence against Wennerström to find out what has happened to Harriet and to write about the Vanger family history. Upon investigating the Vanger family, Mikael realizes that Harriet’s disappearance might be linked to various murders against women in the past. While going through Harriet’s personal belongings, he discovered that Harriet knew who the murderer was and that could most likely be the reason for her disappearance…

Upon speaking to Henrik’s lawyer  he admitted that he needs help with the investigation, who suggested he procure the help of the investigator – Lisbeth Salander – who assisted him and Henrik with investigating Mikael’s history before they enlisted his help with the Harriet case.

Lisbeth Salander is a troubled young woman, who is under the care of a legal guardian – Holger Palmgren – who is looking after her since she tried to kill her father by setting him on fire.  After her guardian suffers a stroke, she is put under the care of a lawyer called Niels Bjurman who sexually abuses her. Lisbeth, being the troubled and vindictive young woman decides to take matters in her own hands (after years of being neglected and let down by law enforcement, in which she accused her father of abuse). She takes revenge on Bjurman by taping him while he sexually abuses her and thereafter threatens him to expose the tape unless he gives her full control of her finances and stays out of her life.

Mikael enlists the help of Lisbeth to help him with the Harriet case. He discovers that Lisbeth, although a disturbing character, is a highly intelligent woman who has a photographic memory and is exceptionally well connected in the technology world. Together he, with his investigative skills and Lisbeth – by hacking into computers – discovers the dark secrets in the Vanger family {a history of murders, sexual abuse, molestation and what really happened to Harriet}.

The book ends off with a satisfying finale, after discovering these family secrets (which you have to go and read for yourself) – Mikael with the help of Lisbeth – exposes Wennerström and restores his professional reputation.  Meanwhile, during all this, Lisbeth falls in love with Mikael….

After reading all 3 books, and recommending it to darling Les, we obtained the movies (all 3 swedish movies). I must admit that sometimes when you have read a book before you watch the movie they are based on, more often than not, you are disappointed. However not with these movies – I thought the movies were brilliant and did justice to the books which I find enthralling!

I will do a review on the 2 remaining parts of the trilogy as well, for the purpose of which I included the first two unlinked lines of this post. *Please remind me, if I don’t do it in due time ;)*

PS: I must add that I was not in the  least impressed with the American adaptation of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ movie … in all honesty i was annoyed. They have changed so much about the story that it left me cold regardless of the fact that Daniel Craig played the role of Mikael Blomkvist

Images sourced here, here and here