This post includes my first book review for my favorite book ever, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Those of you who read my introductory post know that I’m an avid reader.
As my first official book review, I want to dedicate it to my favorite book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larson.
On this blog, I will share with you some of my favorite genres/authors and review my latest reads. Whether I loved the book or not you will get my honest opinions. I’m sure sometimes you will not agree with me, but that’s okay. We do not all have the same tastes, therefore we will not agree all the time.
I love many genres, but if I absolutely have to pick just one, I will have to go with Nordic Noir. Some might ask, “How did you come to love that genre so much?”
It’s quite an interesting story, as many of you might guess. Like most readers, I found my love of reading by experimenting with a whole bunch of different authors of different writing styles. I finally settled on the Scandinavian genre after reading many of their authors. There’s something about their atmospheric, quiet culture that just resonates with me. When I pick up a book by any one of their writers, I immediately feel at ease. It just feels right to me, like I belong there.
One of the very first books I read (that I can remember, anyway!) was either Murder On The Orient Express or Death On The Nile, by Agatha Christie. I must’ve been at least 10 or 11 years old at the time. Either one of those two books is the reason I’ve always gravitated toward detective novels.
Then a few years later I discovered other authors from this genre, such as James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, and Kathy Reichs, just to name a few.
Closer To The Present Day
And then a good friend of mine with whom I would swap books mentioned this new super popular author everyone was talking about, Stieg Larrson. Back when his first book was available in Canada, around 2006-07, Goodreads and Instagram didn’t exist, so we used word of mouth and librarians’ recommendations. Yes, I know, the stone age!!!
The iPhone wasn’t even out yet, but the same great friend has access to the best-stocked library in Montreal. She would always share the new releases that she would get her hands on with me, so I always found out about the newest authors.
Without further ado, let me start reviewing one of my all-time favorite books. And no, I do not have only one favorite, I have many, way too many to write about in one single post.
Today I will briefly discuss the book that got me started on this Nordic Noir journey, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.
To be honest, the first hundred pages or so started a bit slow for me. I couldn’t help but wonder; “why is everyone making such a fuss about this book?” Well, as I am someone who rarely abandons books unless the said book is mind-blowingly boring, I decided to power through.
And boy, am I happy I did! I discovered one of my favorite heroines of all time, Lizbeth Salander. She is a fierce and complex young woman that impressed me from the first time she was introduced in the book. Her unique style and survival instinct make you either love her or fear her.
The premise of the book happens around the disappearance of Harriet Vanger who is part of a notable Swedish family. Her disappearance happened over forty years ago, and journalist Michael Blomkvist is hired by Harriet’s aged uncle to help investigate this mystery. He gets help from Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old super clever computer hacker who was also hired by Henrik Vanger to hack into Blomkvisk’s personal and professional life. As an intricate plot develops, Salander and Blomkvist discover quite an unfathomable corruption. Some indescribable crimes that took place within that family, as well as among the more elite part of society, are gruesome. The duo becomes entrenched in solving this crime. With action so well described, it keeps you on your toes and you will literally fly through this book.
Themes Touched Upon
Larsson touches on many themes in this book. Violence against women, coverups, libel, and ethical corruption are among some of the very important yet real problems that persist in Swedish society today. He also builds his characters with so much detail that you feel like you’ve known them all your life by the time you finish the book. The book is followed by The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, all three written by Stieg Larsson.
Unfortunately, Larson died after his third installment of this series was published, so we had to make our peace with that. David Lagerkrantz, another Swedish writer, continued the series with three sequels, but to be perfectly honest they don’t quite live up to Larsson’s unique writing style.
All in all, this book set off my love for Scandi-Noir, and I’ve never looked back since. After Larrson, I delved into Camilla Lackberg’s Fjallbacka series. It follows writer Erica Falck and detective Patrick Hedstrom’s relationship, which is just as intriguing and enrapturing as the crimes they solve. Other Scandinavian writers captured my heart as well. I will mention them and their books in future posts for sure.
My first book review ever had to be about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hope you enjoyed it.
I will discuss a topic that arose while I was reading this super interesting book in the near future. But I will keep some of the mystery for now. Hopefully, that will arise your curiosity. I wish you will look forward to finding out what I’m talking about.
I really enjoyed writing my first review ever, and I hope you did as well!
Till next time, Anca.