To Go: 48
51. The Brass Verdict — Michael Connelly
52. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — Stieg Larsson
Harriet Vanger’s disappearance in her teen years is something that her beloved great-uncle, Henrik, has never been able to let go of. Close to forty years later he enlists Mikael Blomkvist, a scorned journalist convicted of libel, to spend a year in the village where she was taken to attempt to discover the truth. He’s aided by Lisbeth Salander, and together they unravel a family secret that has the potential to destroy the Vanger clan.
This was another book with a painfully slow beginning; when I’d started it I was in class, and within six pages asked my teacher (who also has the book), “Does this get any better?”
Spoilers: it does.
I can safely say that the first book in Stieg Larsson’s infamous trilogy is completely worth the hype. I’d read it late into the night, telling myself that I’d put it down at the end of the chapter, but most of the time I didn’t. It was horrifying and gruesome and magnificent. The plot was beautifully crafted and brilliant, and the Vanger mystery had me guessing right up until the big reveal.
However, as many people have heard me say, I had a huge issue with the length of the book. Having 841 pages just wasn’t even the least bit necessary; in fact, Larsson could have easily cut down 200 pages minimum by simply eliminating the unnecessary narration. I don’t need to know that Mikael went to the grocery store and bought himself cheese and bread, and then drove home and made himself an open-face sandwich. I don’t care! Get to the point! (And this is coming from easily one of the most verbose people around, which is saying something.)
It is absolutely worth a read. Just keep in mind that about a quarter of the novel is “He went shopping. He bought himself new clothes. He drove home and put his slippers on. He ate a sandwich. He read a mystery novel.”
Next book: When You Were Mine — Elizabeth Noble (I have the second Stieg Larsson, but I need a break.)
Next feature: same as usual; one will be up when I’m not too lazy to post it.