Thursday, April 15, 2010 | |

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a mystery thriller by Stieg Larsson, an author from Sweden. After his death in 2004, he published three novels ins his Millenium series. This is the first.

The story revolves around a journalist who is down on his luck getting a call from an old man, formerly the head of a well respected company. This old man wants the reporter to track down a murderer. The twist? The murder happened over 30 years ago. It's a classic locked room type mystery, with plenty of action and side story thrown in to keep you turning pages....just not the first 50 or the last 50.

I enjoyed everything but the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages of this book. Sadly, it starts out so heart-breakingly slow that I actually stopped reading it and came back to it on a day that I had more patience. Not unlike Andy in the Shawshank Redemption, you're going to have to crawl through some poo to get to freedom with this book. The last 50 pages are drawn out as well, in one of those "based on a true story" movie styles, giving each little character a nice tidy blurb about what they're doing now.. The mystery and thrill of a wonderful book are over, and you're left with a huge wrap-up that wasn't strictly necessary, especially given the fact that it's the first book in a series.

Now, while the book clearly doesn't believe in the writer's phrase, "In late, out early," everything but those 100 pages was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the murder mystery, and found the two main characters to be interesting, and easily capable of carrying a book. The twist was solid, especially when you find out that things were so much worse than you imagined, and the big reveal near the end was great.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (8.5/10) was an action packed, thrilling mystery, just not at the beginning or the end, where it should have been.


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