2009: 117. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

“The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted he would lose.”

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

       I bowed to popular opinion and finally read this book (as a mystery lover, I really felt obliged), and I feel decidedly mixed about it.  I loved parts - and there is no doubt at all that I will read the sequels - but thought other aspects were absolutely ridiculous.  I don’t think I can discuss this without spoilers, so read beyond here at your own peril!

        I really liked the setting - a mystery set in Sweden was new and Larsson made his setting real and evocative.  I loved the main mystery - when our disgraced journalist detective Blomkvist was called upon to solve the locked room (well, locked island) mystery of the disappearance of a young girl thirty years before, well, I might as well have pick the book to order from some sort of “ideal mystery for Carrie” catalogue.  I liked our other detective, too - the prickly, eccentric, indeed almost unhuman misunderstood genius Lisbeth Salander.  And there is no question that this is a page turner - I couldn’t wait to find out who dunnit and what would happen.

       BUT - and this is, again, the spoilered part, there were a few aspects that just bugged me.  The first was the fact that every single female character fell into bed with Blomkvist as if he was sex personified.  I couldn’t help rolling my eyes, and it took me away from what was otherwise a pretty realistic mystery.  That’s basically a quibble, though.  What really disappointed me was the ending - the fact that that bad guy, although he didn’t kill the young girl at the heart of the story, turned out to be some crazy serial killer.  It was such a strange and unnecessary twist that it took me out of what had been a great story.  It was sufficient for him to be evil and twisted on an individual scale- making him responsible for the death of countless women in horrible circumstances was just horrible and didn’t add much to the story - especially since that whole aspect was covered up by the characters, and dealt with in the last few pages only.  I was disappointed, for sure - but not enough to not want to desperately read the next two books!

Date/Place Completed:  September 2009; Maine

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017