Synopsis from Amazon.co.uk
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.
I have mixed feelings about this book, some aspects of the story were really good and kept me gripped, others made me want to put it down and never pick it up again. When Mikael Blomkvist is sued for libel, he needs to get away from his life for a while, so he accepts a job offer from Henrik Vanger to find out what happened to his great-niece Harriet Vanger when she disappeared 20 years earlier. He is positive she was murdered and wants to know how, but doesn’t hold out much hope of anything after so long. So when Mikael actually stumbles across a new lead, Henrik is very surprised, and as Mikael starts to get closer to what happened to Harriet, it’s clear someone will do anything to stop him finding out.
The beginning of the book starts with a lot of talk about financial journalism, of which I have no interest whatsoever, and I thought it was just plain boring to read about. I put the book aside, not sure whether I’d pick it up again, but I decided to give it another go in the hopes when I pushed past the financial section of the story it would pick up, and it did. Once it got to the start of the Harriet investigation it was enjoyable to read, there are lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing who it may have been that killed Harriet. The twist at the end of the Harriet section took me by surprise, and I really enjoyed finding out the truth of what happened. I loved the character of Lisbeth Salander, I thought the way she was portrayed was amazing, and she fast became my favourite of the story. With so many family members being talked about, most with the same surname, it can get a little confusing at times, but it’s not too hard to keep the main group of characters straight. I wish they’d kept the Swedish title of Men Who Hate Women, I think it’s more appropriate to the storyline, rather than The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, being that there is one very brief mention of said tattoo, and it’s nothing to do with the book really. If they had cut everything about Wennerström and the financial stuff out of the book, and just kept in the Harriet storyline, then this book would be a 5/5 in my opinion, I just found that it clouded the story and just wasn’t needed at all.