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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Book 1 of the Millennium Trilogy (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson I'll admit it- mysteries and thrillers generally don't do it for me. At the library or bookstore, the second the back blurb even hints at a murder or a disappearance or a violent crime, I put it down and read no further. So why did I read this book? I believe it was the incredible hype. Everyone was reading this book and singing its praises, so I decided to give it a go. I must say it was a satisfying, entertaining read in the same way Da Vinci code was (and I don't mean that as an insult.) The writing style wasn't particularly eloquent or artistic, but the characters were interesting especially the womanizing Mikael Blomkvist and enigmatic Lisbeth Salander. In reading this book, I can begin to see why mysteries can be so entertaining. The way in which Mikael and Lisbeth painstakingly begin to unravel the mystery of Harriet's disappearance is absolutely fascinating. The way in which they pore over documents and pictures and follow threads to uncover more information is what interested me most about the book. I wanted to read more about Lisbeth, and I thought that Larsson's oblique reference to her as Pippi Longstocking quite intriguing. I wanted to uncover the mystery of who Lisbeth really is, perhaps even more than I cared about the disappearance of Harriet. I haven't read that many mysteries to be able to adequately determine whether this book was ground-breaking within its genre. Honestly, it seems formulaic to me in the same way that a historical romance novel would be. There was the big mysterious mystery. There were the sleuths hired to figure out the mystery. There was passion, depravity, violence, dark secrets. There was the big "confession" in which all the motivations of the villain are uncovered. There was the "big twist" at the end which shocked and thrilled. It was all done and done well, I will admit, but I thought it wasn't completely original or genre bending (or mind bending for that matter.) The novel delivered and was rather entertaining, although I am still on the fence about whether I wish to the continue the series. I am worried about there being too much mystery/murder/disappearance and not enough Lisbeth. I am quite sure, though, that I most definitely want to read Pippi Longstocking again.