Book review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a household name in the book industry. It’s a novel published back in 2005 by Stieg Larsson featuring the incredible character Lisbeth Salander, one of the most unique main characters you’ll ever read about.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In short: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sees journalist Mikael Blomkvist getting embroiled in a murder mystery that has dated back decades. Lisbeth Salander is drawn in and it creates one of the best duos the crime genre has ever seen.

Plot – 4.5/5

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared many years ago and in one final attempt to find her, her uncle hires Mikael Blomkvist to track down her disappearance and inevitably, her killer.

Lisbeth Salander aids him in this after he finds out she’s an absolute whizz with computers and can find out almost anything about almost anybody. What begins is an incredible but dark tale that takes the pair through the depths of the family’s history. It’s a great story that truly keeps you wanting to know what’s happened to Harriet Vanger and who else is involved.

Characters – 4.5/5

I don’t think you can read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or any of the sequels) without being absolutely fascinated by Lisbeth Salander. Salander has autism and the way Larsson writes her makes you really feel educated as to the thought process and patterns of those who live with autism. Lisbeth has a lot of passion and intelligence but the way she chooses to express and deliver these traits is, not as one would expect – making for a fascinating character.

I wasn’t overly charmed by Blomkvist’s character and I felt more could have been done with him. However, his drive and passion for the project of which he has been given make you lean on the side of ‘like’ rather than ‘dislike’. I think Lisbeth is without a doubt the standout character here though.

Other supporting characters give off just enough personality to differ from one another. As you’ll have grasped if you’ve read any of my other reviews, I’m very hard to please when it comes to characters. I need them to be excessively intelligent, witty or funny. Lisbeth is incredibly smart but also fascinating in a way that made me always want to read more.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo summary – 5/5

I’ve rounded this review up to five stars for a few reasons. One of the first is my love for Lisbeth Salander – of which I’m sure I’m not the only one and also I believe to be one of the reasons for this book’s enormous success. Another reason is the length of the book allows for plenty of detail to be given. This aids with both of the characters’ thought processes throughout their case and also gives Larsson chances to give back story to the character and real ambience to places and situations.

I’m not sure I’ve met anybody who hasn’t enjoyed this book thus far – it’s universally recognised as a very good novel and one that I would even go as far as to say is one of the best I’ve ever read. What were your thoughts on the book if you’ve read it? Feel free to click any of the buttons below to interact with me.


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