This one is a bit of a double feature. I had been hearing everyone talk about these books for a while and I feel like the anticipation for the American movie has been mounting for centuries. After staring at the cover in bookshop windows everyday on my way to work, I finally read the first one a few months ago and I recently finished the second book a few weeks ago. I guess I could have saved my ammo and written two separate book reviews, but at this point the plot is sort of all run together into my mind into one big long story. Which...I guess is good?
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo starts off at a snails pace. I began wondering how it was a bestseller with absolutely nothing of interest happening in the first third. Well, except the coffee drinking. I think every character drinks coffee on almost every page of the story. I'm almost concerned about the level of nutrition in Sweden. The plot kicks into gear at a moment that surprises you and, all of the sudden, you can't put the book down because you've fallen down a rabbit hole of sex, mystery, murder, nazis, and uhh... more coffee drinking. I actually walked home from work in the dark unable to put the book down and ran head first into a stranger. Luckily, she laughed at me and said "Well, it must be a pretty good read."
Usually I'm not big on murder mystery series or really any kind of series so it was strange to catch up with familiar characters to see what's up with life after a dramatic climax has occurred. It is kind of an interesting concept. You've just uncovered a murderer and had a complete life changing experience! Now return to normalcy! Go! When I started The Girl Who Played With Fire, I wasn't sure what to expect. Above all things, I was relieved that Larsson cut the crap and jumped right into the plot. Sure you have the standard filling the audience in on this and that, but the build up is minuscule compared to book one. There's still just as much coffee, sex, murder, and mystery, but not so many nazis.
While the stories are not exactly literary gold, Larsson does an excellent job at creating characters that are likable, but unbelievably flawed. Most of the time, I couldn't decided if I wanted to smack all of them across the face or give them big giant hugs.
I'm planning on heading to the book store as soon as I'm back in Boston to purchase the third book The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stings