Compulsively readable

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the most compulsively readable crime novels I've read in a long time. Does it deserve all the hype surrounding it? Perhaps not. It's well-written and constructed, with a great, original, quirky heroine. Hero is fairly standard dogged journalist with a touch of Woodward and Bernstein, and, I suspect, the author, Stieg Larsson, as well.

The story of a previously undiscovered serial killer, although not hugely original, does have some very nice touches, and although the denouement was not entirely unexpected it didn't really matter as this book is so readable I couldn't have cared less if he'd told me in plain English (or Swedish) on the first page who dunnit!

I suspect that at the moment a lot of the mystique surrounding the novel is at least partly down to the unfortunate premature death of the author, prior to the worldwide success of his books. Whether this particular novel will still be seen as a stunning piece of crime fiction in 10 years time, I'm not sure - this will probably depend to some extent on how good is the rest of the Millenium Trilogy. I'll be reading the other two volumes shortly and will be fascinated to see how I feel about the complete sequence. But undoubtedly Stieg Larsson was a great writer, I'm just sorry that there will be no further novels to follow Millenium 2 and 3.


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