Book Review: The Millennium Trilogy

Titles: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the  Hornet’s Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson

These books have been popular for awhile, so I decided to find out what the fuss was all about. At first, I found the books a little hard to get into. About the first third to half of the first book is spent establishing background of the characters. While necessary to the story, it seemed to jump back and forth between characters with little or no connection to each other. Also, at first, my American-centric brain had some difficulty adjusting to the Swedish names, especially those that seemed similar. 

After the characters are established, the rest of the book moves along at a pretty good pace. Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist convicted a libel is hired by aging Swedish industrialist, Henrik Vanger. Vanger is searching for answers in the disappearance of his great-niece, Harriet, who went missing 36 years ago.  Blomkvist agrees to live on the island where Harriet disappeared and look into her disappearance for one year. 

While researching, Blomkvist seeks the help of Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant computer hacker. Salander is a social misfit with authority issues, a dark past, and no desire to conform to society’s norms. 

Blomkvist and Salander form an interesting investigative team, though not always believable or likable. The second part of the novel follows the duo as they dig into the disappearance of Harriet Vanger and uncover dark secrets about the Vanger family.

The second book and third books in the series, “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” bring back the characters of the first novel. The books explore Sweden’s sex trafficking underworld, corruption in Sweden’s secret police force, and violence again women.  These books jump into the action much quicker than the first, mainly because they build upon already established events and characters. Because all of the books are so closely connected, I’m not going to give a plot summary of these two books, in order to prevent spoilers.

Bottom Line:
Larsson’s books are filled with action, intrigue, murder, and violence. The characters are multidimensional, and are both extremely likable and maddening at the same time. They are entertaining and engrossing reads.

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