Pin It
Favorite

Book Review 

by ANN M. COLFORD & r & & r & The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo & r & by Stieg Larsson & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & J & lt;/span & ournalist Mikael Blomkvist is in trouble: He's been convicted of libel following an investigative report on business tycoon Hans-Erik Wennerstr & ouml;m. Dismissed and shamed, Blomkvist receives an intriguing offer from yet another tycoon: Henrik Vanger of the multinational Vanger Corporation wants to hire Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his young niece Harriet some 40 years ago. Harriet's been presumed dead, but no body was ever found.





The story starts slowly, opening with a detailed flashback of the Wennerstr & ouml;m report, followed by a long tour with Henrik Vanger. While Blomkvist plods along, the oddly asocial Lisbeth Salander -- the girl of the title -- is hired by Vanger to check into Blomkvist's background. A brilliant computer hacker and contract investigator, Salander lives a "f---ing rats' nest" of a life, including being subjected to a brutal sexual assault. And yet, when she turns the tables on her assailant in a way that's absolutely breathtaking, we realize this is not a woman to cross.





Blomkvist and Salander eventually team up, although it takes half the book. Once they do, the plot accelerates from a tale of business espionage to a sordid story of rape, torture and serial murder. And Harriet's disappearance is no longer relegated to the past.





The book really contains three mysteries: how Blomkvist's investigation of Wennerstrom went wrong, what happened to Harriet Vanger, and how to track a serial killer in cases going back almost 60 years. Weaving through each of these subplots is the saga of the Vanger family and their integral role in Sweden's industrial and political past and present.





Both Blomkvist and Salander are compelling, fully rounded individuals, each with secrets and motivations. The novel demands effort from American readers -- Sweden is not a setting we know, and the names of people, places and companies can be tongue-twisting -- but the payoff is a satisfying read that pushes us beyond our national myopia.





Pity that we only get two more chances to appreciate Larsson's work: the former journalist and anti-democracy expert died suddenly in 2004 after delivering three manuscripts starring Blomkvist and Salander -- this is the first -- to his publishers.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular @ Riverfront Park

Through Jan. 1, 2015

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation