The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Book One Of The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg LarssonThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Book One Of The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Book One Of The Millenium Trilogy

byStieg Larsson

Hardcover | September 23, 2008

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Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared off the secluded island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger family. There was no corpse, no witnesses, no evidence. But her uncle, Henrik, is convinced that she was murdered by someone from her own deeply dysfunctional family. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to investigate, but he quickly finds himself in over his head. He hires a competent assistant: the gifted and conscience-free computer specialist Lisbeth Salander, and the two 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.
Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) was the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Expo from 1999, and had previously worked at a major news agency for many years. He was one of the world’s leading experts on anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organisations, and he was often consulted on that account. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedl...
Title:The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Book One Of The Millenium TrilogyFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:480 pages, 9.3 × 6.4 × 1.4 inShipping dimensions:9.3 × 6.4 × 1.4 inPublished:September 23, 2008Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670069019

ISBN - 13:9780670069019


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Didn't like it as much as others did! This could’ve been a great book except for the slow start, the Swedish names that were too similar to one another and all of the legal jargon. Admittedly, I almost gave up early on as nothing really happens until well after 100 pages in. I kept wondering how Lisbeth was going to be the star of the book as well with such a minimal part. I was sucked into the Vanger family drama but again got lost as to how they all fit into the ever-changing plot. I was glad that Blomkvist got his story in the end and will likely read the next two novels after a mental break.
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Loved this book. Didn't know what to expect when I started it. I was disappointed with the movie though.
Date published: 2018-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unexpectedly great read I picked this up based on a recommendation of a friend before the whole movie thing happened. This is what a good book should be. I blew through this book in 2 days. It was a pleasure. While I can't personally relate to the main characters, I found them to be very well fleshed out, motivated by human emotions (which a lot of writers seem to miss for what ever reason), and able to come alive off the pages. I would highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tons of Fun Well, that was a hell of a ride! I am so glad I finally picked up Stieg Larsson’s landmark book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I knew I would enjoy this book, so I don’t know why it took me so long to get to it. It was an absolute pleasure to read the book that changed the face of Swedish crime fiction, and I’m going to be jumping into the next installment, The Girl Who Played With Fire, pretty quickly! Larsson’s story has it all: a compelling mystery, complex psychology, dark family secrets, action, tension, passion, twists and turns, and an unconventional, kick-ass heroine. After journalist Mikael Blomkvist is convicted of libel, he is mysteriously asked to meet with Henrik Vanger, an aging businessman, who would like to hire him for a personal assignment. With his career on hold and his life turned upside down, Blomkvist decides to go to the meeting, but is suspicious about what Vanger promises. Vanger wants to hire Blomkvist for 1 year to unearth the truth behind a puzzling family mystery; in turn he will offer Blomkvist generous pay and the ability to clear his name as a journalist. After much hesitation, Blomkvist takes the job, and so the adventure begins. Enter Lisbeth Salander – a tattoo covered, pierced, and bleak young woman who just happens to be an incredibly talented hacker and private investigator. She works when she wants, lives by her own rules, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. We learn about her past, and the troubling path that has led her to where she is now. She has endured a hard life, and refuses to relinquish control now that she has it back. Naturally, Blomkvist and Salander end up teaming up, becoming one of the best duo’s I’ve read about in any crime book. Their respect for each other is palpable, and I love that their skills and partnership and completely equal. They each bring something to the table that serves the other well. There are a couple elements that I found a bit funny, but not necessarily distracting: the technology, and the love of sandwiches. When this book was written in the early 2000’s, all of the technology described by Stieg would have been cutting edge and impressive – today, it dates the book a bit. That said, I actually enjoyed reading these scenes, there are just a lot of them! Secondly, sandwiches. Yes, sandwiches. Please tell me someone else has noticed this – the characters in this book are always eating or making multiple sandwiches! I really should have kept tabs on the sandwich scenes in this book. There are SO many! So, with that, I loved this book! Salander gets under your skin, and you can’t help but love her and want more of her story. The final 2 pages leave us with a bit of a crummy cliffhanger, so I cant wait to see where things go in the next book.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Don't see how there's a case for feminism here . . . This is fluff, but like Dan Brown, it’s fairly well-researched fluff. Unlike Dan Brown, it’s well-researched fluff that concentrates more on its characters than angering the church and the Masons. Larsson knows his stuff. In the end, though, it’s still supermarket fiction. There were a lot of variables that got to me. The book’s in translation, so many of the techniques that annoyed me might have worked differently in Swedish. For example, every description resorts to simile: “She jumped like a panther through the door that gaped like an open mouth and landed on her motorcycle which was buzzing like a bee.” It starts with forty pages of of economic history only barely connected to the main plot. It features an uncountable cast, many of whom are unimportant members of the central family, or employees of the magazine. It details Mikael Blomkvist’s every meal, drink, coffee, every character’s outfit, what novel they are reading, what movie they’re watching. Some people like that sort of thing. I found it exhausting—so, yes, it transcends fluff at times—but chacun à son goût. The strengths of this book are its refreshing setting, and of course the Girl, Lisbeth Salander. She’s a well-conceived character, although I think created by using an archetype rather than an original creation. I’ve yet to see either the Swedish or American films, but my guess is she’s better to see than to read, to watch an actor interpret than to have our mind dissect. Her one major character flaw, that is, the flaw her creator has written in to her, is also the greatest flaw of the whole book: her susceptibility to the magic wand in Herr Blomkvist’s pants. Any woman who encounters him sleeps with him (with one exception that would be a spoiler to indicate). Older woman, much younger woman, married friend with benefits, any woman that encounters this dude can’t seem to rip her clothes off fast enough. Oh, and then there’s the excusing it! Lisbeth needs to show how strong she is, the others only want him for his body, no strings attached. Larsson bombards us with rationale for all the sack-jumping. How much of this is one man’s fantasy? I mean, they’re more liberal in Sweden, but there’s a point. I find Lisbeth’s attachment to Blomkvist beyond the professional as insulting—it would’ve worked better with him as a father figure. In a book that sets up every section with a quote about abused women, presenting a smokescreen of feminism by having significant female characters, in the end, they’re still just objects. Women in this book are nymphomaniacs. If that’s not derogatory enough, a character who is good but is not great is limited by the writer’s need to get in her pants.
Date published: 2012-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning Crime Drama! I picked up this novel a few years after its success swept the globe, and I have to say that I am better for having read it. It is true that some of Larsson's prose is lost on the English reader due to its translation, but I have to say that it is still a remarkable text that I hold in very high regard. However, be warned, this book takes a while to reel you in; it is written in 5 acts, and they intersect quite freely, so you must be able to discern when the stories separate. All in all, I think that this is a very powerful concept. To lay out the main characters separately and outline their faults before bringing them together was masterful on Larsson's part; Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are quite a pair! All in all, this is an excellent start to the series and one of my most recommended trilogies ever!
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow Character Development It took me a long time to get through this book. It began to be exciting half way through. I understand there was a lot of character development but still. Some excitement at the beginning can't be a bad thing. Anyways it was a "meh" read. Since I bought all three books i continued on. I'll tell you now, the next 2 books are very different from the first in terms of how intense it is.
Date published: 2012-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating! I loved it. I can't say I have ever read a book that would be classed as a thriller and as I began reading it, I wasn't aware of what I was in for. It was at times disturbing but it all applied to the story. It wasn't just a shoot em up and then goes nowhere. There are twists and turns and times where you smile to yourself and times where you gasp! Looking forward to reading Girl that Played with Fire. Wish Mr Larsson was around to enjoy the success of his novels!
Date published: 2010-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Good Like the Da Vinci Code I expected nothing more out of this extremely popular series than a quick and entertaining read. Well, that is exactly what the series delivered. It was surprisingly sophisticated and kept me up until 4:00 am almost every night. These are the perfect books for the cottage or a relaxing vacation.
Date published: 2010-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from simply absorbent «The Girl With The Dragon Tatto» is a charming novel. Lisbet Salander is an endearing caracter, strong and unique that feminists will adore! The book has two stories and both got an unexpected end. I wasn't able to stop reading from the middle of the book! Nonetheless, I think the translation wasn't very good.
Date published: 2010-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Leaves you wanting more I really enjoyed this book. There were enough twists and turns to keep it interesting and enough character plots to not bore you. It is full of scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat and it leaves you wanting to read more about the main characters. Can't wait to read the next two!!
Date published: 2010-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Zowie I've heard and read many complaints about Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: 1. It's misogynistic. 2. It's packed with cliché. 3. It's too convoluted. 4. It's too disturbing. 5. Lisbeth wasn't autistic enough or was foolishly autistic. 6. There were too many red herrings, and the damn Nazi red herring didn't have the usual payoff. 7. Too/Two many plots. 8. Too hard on Leviticus. I will answer these in a moment, but first I must declare that I am an unrepentant fan of this book. This is one of the rare times when I long for Chapters/Indigo to have half grades, because I would love to give this 4.5. I can't give it a full 5, though, because I sense Mr. Larsson's series is going to grow in his last two books. And now...back to the top eight complaints: 1. Perhaps, but how can a book whose original Swedish title is "Men Who Hate Women" avoid misogyny? It can't. But at least the misogyny present is a comment on misogyny. Larsson isn't being misogynist. He's attacking misogyny. Moreover, our hero, Mikael Blomkvist, is not one of the men who hate women. He is a pretty good guy, actually; in fact, he's one of the rare guys I would actually categorize as a "good guy" in most modern literature. Sure...he's a bad Dad. Sure...he has a failed marriage and many sexual relationships. Sure...he makes some decisions that challenge his ethics. But he remains a "good guy." He tries to do well in an ugly world. He never succumbs to cynicism. And he genuinely cares about all the people in his life. Male and female. And it's not like Berger and Salander are weak women -- far from it. There may be misogyny in Men Who Hate Women, but it is wholly the characters' misogyny -- those who have it -- and not the author's. 2. Cliché, smiché! Yes there's some cliché -- maybe plenty of cliché -- but who cares?! Seriously? We're not talking about Proust here. We're talking about a mystery novel, a serial killer who-dunnit. Complaining about cliché in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is like complaining about "pinko sympathies" in The Communist Manifesto. There's communism in Marx? Really? You think!? 3 & 7. Yep. There's a couple of distinct plots here, but there's a level of verisimilitude to that. Have even our banal lives ever had anything important happen without something else important occurring at the same time? Not mine, and to have multiple incidents happening simultaneously makes sense to me. The search for Harriet Vanger wasn't hampered at all by the Wennerström drama, and vice versa. And to be honest, I loved having a pair of mysteries solved in the same novel. 4. Too disturbing compared to what? It's nowhere near as disturbing as American Psycho, and it's about average as far as the serial killer genre goes. Plus, I think there is power in the graphic moments of this novel, particularly Lisbeth's vengeance on her guardian. I am not on her side when it comes to this vengeance, but I understand it, and the drive to take vengeance in such a way -- such a human way -- fascinates me. Who'd have thought that the Swedes have it in them? 5. Perhaps this is true, but at this point I have only read one of the trilogy, and the only person who suggested that Lisbeth was autistic was Mikael, and while he thought she was suffering from Asberger's his guess was only in passing. I can cut the book some slack here. (suspend my disbelief, suspend my disbelief). 6. I was stoked that, for once, the Nazis were a red herring rather than the ultimate, degenerated evil. We all expect the Nazis to be the worst of the worst, so it is refreshing to see them as a deflection instead. 8. Can anyone really be too hard on Leviticus? Ummmmm...nope. Now, I admit that I might love this novel simply because it is set in Sweden. After all, I do love ABBA, Fredrik Ljungberg, IKEA (my apologies), glögg, Stellan Skarsgård, Max von Sydow, Ingmar Bergman, and Mats Sundin. I looked into emigrating to Sweden but had no excuse, being a resident of Canada with no skills the Swedes were looking for, and I am a fan of Norse Mythology, but I do love Sweden, and I was jazzed by the setting of [author:Larsson]'s book. All that aside, however, I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a compelling, entertaining and unabashedly thrilling read. If you can overlook the eight complaints, or consider them in a different light, you'll like this book too. I promise.
Date published: 2010-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suspence Loved the characters and the story.....
Date published: 2009-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Suspenseful and Thrilling Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist convicted of libel. He is hired by Henrik Vanger, a retired CEO in his eighty’s to investigate the disappearance of his great-niece Harriet who vanished from the secluded island owned by the Vanger family forty years ago. After scouring the island several times, Henrik is convinced that Harriet has been murdered and believes that the murder is someone is his large and dysfunctional family. After Blomkvist finds new evidence, the investigation gets dangerous and 24 year old Lisbeth Salander, a violent, asocial, genius hacker is enlisted to help with the investigation. This has to be one of the most suspenseful stories I have ever read. I didn’t think it was possible to make the world of financial journalism so interesting but Larsson pulls it off. The characters are fascinating and the story enthralling. Blomkvist and Salander both have their own stories which merge in the middle of the book and their opposing personalities just mesh so well together. That concept is kind of clichéd, but Larsson seems to make it his own. Overall I found this book thrilling and I couldn’t put it down. The plot takes several unexpected turns and keeps you hooked to the end. I loved this book and I can’t wait for the next one. I hope it’s as exciting and gripping as this one.
Date published: 2009-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a page turner! Mikael Blomkvist is a financial journalist that specializes in uncovering the truth about companies. He is partial owner of a magazine called Millenium, but is sued for libel when he goes after a Swedish business tycoon and cannot prove some of his claims. With his career in ruins, Blomkvist gets a strange offer from another CEO of a large company, Henrik Vanger. Blomkvist heads to the middle of nowhere Sweden to be asked to solve a 40 year old murder mystery. Vanger's niece disappeared 40 years ago during a family function and Henrik wants Blomkvist to find out which one of his family members murdered his niece. Solving the mystery introduces Blomkvist to the incredibly large, quite odd Vanger family. The family has many skeletons in their closet and not all family members are happy that Blomkvist is there. We also learn about Lisbeth Salander, a troubled young woman with an extraordinary mind. She is a great investigator and incredibly details oriented, yet is not entrusted to her own finances or her own legal representation. She's brought in to the investigation and an unlikely friendship is created. After getting over the confusion of the number of characters in this book and trying to keep the entire Vanger family straight, I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit of a chance of pace where the person investigating the mystery was not a cop and approached the crime differently. Also, since the crime happened so long ago, this also added a layer of complexity. This becomes quite the page turner. There are two more books in the series, which I suppose is why the ending wasn't all that satisfying. While the mysteries were solved, the relationships between the characters were left quite open and left me wondering what was going to happen. I will be looking out for the next two books in the series as I'm interested to see how the characters continue on.
Date published: 2009-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from sinister but addictive I thought it was a fantastic! Maybe a little to technical sometimes, with specific models of computers etc but personally I didn't mind other than such things tend to date books. It's a complex story, with a family mystery at the centre and therefore many characters with the same last name. But they're all interesting. The plot is progressively more and more sinister and there are certainly some surprises!
Date published: 2009-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly Awesome! This is one hell of a thriller! Absolutely phenomenal book. At first I thought it was going to be one of those depressing books (like with some Scandinavian books) and in that, I may have to think of flowers and cheerful scenery that you see in O Magazine but I was completely engrossed by the book from the moment I open the book and I could not put down, no matter how I tried...and believe me I tried on three attempts before giving up. The characters are incredible, even visioning actors and actresses playing the characters (if it turns into a series at the cinema or on television). The trips down memory lane for some of the characters is well written and I enjoyed every moment of the mysterious and political thriller. I am sadden that the author Stieg Larsson is not with us, his death is just as sensational as the books and articles that he written.It may not be a long series of books but they say it comes in threes and it's a good number for series. However, I won't be disappointed if someone else does pick up where Larsson left off but be aware (and even I'm judging this by one book) they will be sizable shoes to fill. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the second one!
Date published: 2009-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Characters I was very sad to find out I'd have to wait for the next two books to be translated into English. Stieg Larsson managed to create some of the best characters I've seen in a long time, I want to know more! NOW! :) This is a very well written novel!
Date published: 2009-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT BOOK! I am just finishing this book. It is fantastic. I agree with the other review - there are dark characters, but it all fits together. The story is unique and well thought out without being complicated. I too cannot wait until his other books are translated.
Date published: 2008-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating mystery An intricate story line with dark characters makes for an engrossing read. One of the best mysteries I have read in years (and I can hardly wait for the second and third novels to be translated.)
Date published: 2008-09-27

Read from the Book

Prologue A Friday in November   It happened every year, was almost a ritual. And this was his eighty-second birthday. When, as usual, the flower was delivered, he took off the wrapping paper and then picked up the telephone to call Detective Superintendent Morell who, when he retired, had moved to Lake Siljan in Dalarna. They were not only the same age, they had been born on the same day–which was something of an irony under the circumstances. The old policeman was sitting with his coffee, waiting, expecting the call.   “It arrived.”   “What is it this year?”   “I don’t know what kind it is. I’ll have to get someone to tell me what it is. It’s white.”   “No letter, I suppose.”   “Just the flower. The frame is the same kind as last year. One of those do-it-yourself ones.”   “Postmark?”   “Stockholm.”   “Handwriting?”   “Same as always, all in capitals. Upright, neat lettering.”   With that, the subject was exhausted, and not another word was exchanged for almost a minute. The retired policeman leaned back in his kitchen chair and drew on his pipe. He knew he was no longer expected to come up with a pithy comment or any sharp question which would shed a new light on the case. Those days had long since passed, and the exchange between the two men seemed like a ritual attaching to a mystery which no-one else in the whole world had the least interest in unravelling.     The Latin name was Leptospermum (Myrtaceae) rubinette. It was a plant about ten centimetres high with small, heather-like foliage and a white flower with five petals about two centimetres across.   The plant was native to the Australian bush and uplands, where it was to be found among tussocks of grass. There it was called Desert Snow. Someone at the botanical gardens in Uppsala would later confirm that it was a plant seldom cultivated in Sweden. The botanist wrote in her report that it was related to the tea tree and that it was sometimes confused with its more common cousin Leptospermum scoparium, which grew in abundance in New Zealand. What distinguished them, she pointed out, was that rubinette had a small number of microscopic pink dots at the tips of the petals, giving the flower a faint pinkish tinge.   Rubinette was altogether an unpretentious flower. It had no known medicinal properties, and it could not induce hallucinatory experiences. It was neither edible, nor had a use in the manufacture of plant dyes. On the other hand, the aboriginal people of Australia regarded as sacred the region and the flora around Ayers Rock.   The botanist said that she herself had never seen one before, but after consulting her colleagues she was to report that attempts had been made to introduce the plant at a nursery in Göteborg, and that it might, of course, be cultivated by amateur botanists. It was difficult to grow in Sweden because it thrived in a dry climate and had to remain indoors half of the year. It would not thrive in calcareous soil and it had to be watered from below. It needed pampering.     The fact of its being so rare a flower ought to have made it easier to trace the source of this particular specimen, but in practice it was an impossible task. There was no registry to look it up in, no licences to explore. Anywhere from a handful to a few hundred enthusiasts could have had access to seeds or plants. And those could have changed hands between friends or been bought by mail order from anywhere in Europe, anywhere in the Antipodes.   But it was only one in the series of mystifying flowers that each year arrived by post on the first day of November. They were always beautiful and for the most part rare flowers, always pressed, mounted on watercolour paper in a simple frame measuring 15cm by 28cm.     The strange story of the flowers had never been reported in the press; only a very few people knew of it. Thirty years ago the regular arrival of the flower was the object of much scrutiny–at the National Forensic Laboratory, among fingerprint experts, graphologists, criminal investigators, and one or two relatives and friends of the recipient. Now the actors in the drama were but three: the elderly birthday boy, the retired police detective, and the person who had posted the flower. The first two at least had reached such an age that the group of interested parties would soon be further diminished.   The policeman was a hardened veteran. He would never forget his first case, in which he had had to take into custody a violent and appallingly drunk worker at an electrical substation before he caused others harm. During his career he had brought in poachers, wife beaters, con men, car thieves, and drunk drivers. He had dealt with burglars, drug dealers, rapists, and one deranged bomber. He had been involved in nine murder or manslaughter cases. In five of these the murderer had called the police himself and, full of remorse, confessed to having killed his wife or brother or some other relative. Two others were solved within a few days. Another required the assistance of the National Criminal Police and took two years.   The ninth case was solved to the police’s satisfaction, which is to say that they knew who the murderer was, but because the evidence was so insubstantial the public prosecutor decided not to proceed with the case. To the detective superintendent’s dismay, the statute of limitations eventually put an end to the matter. But all in all he could look back on an impressive career.   He was anything but pleased.   For the detective, the “Case of the Pressed Flowers” had been nagging at him for years–his last, unsolved and frustrating case. The situation was doubly absurd because after spending literally thousands of hours brooding, on duty and off, he could not say beyond doubt that a crime had indeed been committed.   The two men knew that whoever had mounted the flowers would have worn gloves, that there would be no fingerprints on the frame or the glass. The frame could have been bought in camera shops or stationery stores the world over. There was, quite simply, no lead to follow. Most often the parcel was posted in Stockholm, but three times from London, twice from Paris, twice from Copenhagen, once from Madrid, once from Bonn, and once from Pensacola, Florida. The detective superintendent had had to look it up in an atlas.     After putting down the telephone the eighty-two-year-old birthday boy sat for a long time looking at the pretty but meaningless flower whose name he did not yet know. Then he looked up at the wall above his desk. There hung forty-three pressed flowers in their frames. Four rows of ten, and one at the bottom with four. In the top row one was missing from the ninth slot. Desert Snow would be number forty-four.   Without warning he began to weep. He surprised himself with this sudden burst of emotion after almost forty years.       Part 1 Incentive December 20–January 3   Eighteen percent of the women in Sweden have at one time been threatened by a man.       Chapter 1 Friday, December 20     The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose. The written verdict was handed down at 10:00 on Friday morning, and all that remained was a summing up from the reporters waiting in the corridor outside the district court.     “Carl” Mikael Blomkvist saw them through the doorway and slowed his step. He had no wish to discuss the verdict, but questions were unavoidable, and he—of all people—knew that they had to be asked and answered. This is how it is to be a criminal, he thought. On the other side of the microphone. He straightened up and tried to smile. The reporters gave him friendly, almost embarrassed greetings.     “Let’s see . . . Aftonbladet, Expressen, TT wire service, TV4, and . . . where are you from? . . . ah yes, Dagens Nyheter. I must be a celebrity,” Blomkvist said.     “Give us a sound bite, Kalle Blomkvist.” It was a reporter from one of the evening papers.     Blomkvist, hearing the nickname, forced himself as always not to roll his eyes. Once, when he was twenty-three and had just started his first summer job as a journalist, Blomkvist had chanced upon a gang which had pulled off five bank robberies over the past two years. There was no doubt that it was the same gang in every instance. Their trademark was to hold up two banks at a time with military precision. They wore masks from Disney World, so inevitably police logic dubbed them the Donald Duck Gang. The newspapers renamed them the Bear Gang, which sounded more sinister, more appropriate to the fact that on two occasions they had recklessly fired warning shots and threatened curious passersby.     Their sixth outing was at a bank in Östergötland at the height of the holiday season. A reporter from the local radio station happened to be in the bank at the time. As soon as the robbers were gone he went to a public telephone and dictated his story for live broadcast.     Blomkvist was spending several days with a girlfriend at her parents’ summer cabin near Katrineholm. Exactly why he made the connection he could not explain, even to the police, but as he was listening to the news report he remembered a group of four men in a summer cabin a few hundred feet down the road. He had seen them playing badminton out in the yard: four blond, athletic types in shorts with their shirts off. They were obviously bodybuilders, and there had been something about them that had made him look twice—maybe it was because the game was being played in blazing sunshine with what he recognised as intensely focused energy.     There had been no good reason to suspect them of being the bank robbers, but nevertheless he had gone to a hill overlooking their cabin. It seemed empty. It was about forty minutes before a Volvo drove up and parked in the yard. The young men got out, in a hurry, and were each carrying a sports bag, so they might have been doing nothing more than coming back from a swim. But one of them returned to the car and took out from the boot something which he hurriedly covered with his jacket. Even from Blomkvist’s relatively distant observation post he could tell that it was a good old AK4, the rifle that had been his constant companion for the year of his military service.     He called the police and that was the start of a three-day siege of the cabin, blanket coverage by the media, with Blomkvist in a front-row seat and collecting a gratifyingly large fee from an evening paper. The police set up their headquarters in a caravan in the garden of the cabin where Blomkvist was staying.     The fall of the Bear Gang gave him the star billing that launched him as a young journalist. The downside of his celebrity was that the other evening newspaper could not resist using the headline “Kalle Blomkvist solves the case.” The tongue-in-cheek story was written by an older female columnist and contained references to the young detective in Astrid Lindgren’s books for children. To make matters worse, the paper had run the story with a grainy photograph of Blomkvist with his mouth half open even as he raised an index finger to point.     It made no difference that Blomkvist had never in life used the name Carl. From that moment on, to his dismay, he was nicknamed Kalle Blomkvist by his peers—an epithet employed with taunting provocation, not unfriendly but not really friendly either. In spite of his respect for Astrid Lindgren—whose books he loved—he detested the nickname. It took him several years and far weightier journalistic successes before the nickname began to fade, but he still cringed if ever the name was used in his hearing.     Right now he achieved a placid smile and said to the reporter from the evening paper:   “Oh come on, think of something yourself. You usually do.”     His tone was not unpleasant. They all knew each other, more or less, and Blomkvist’s most vicious critics had not come that morning. One of the journalists there had at one time worked with him. And at a party some years ago he had nearly succeeded in picking up one of the reporters—the woman from She on TV4.     “You took a real hit in there today,” said the one from Dagens Nyheter, clearly a young part-timer. “How does it feel?”     Despite the seriousness of the situation, neither Blomkvist nor the older journalists could help smiling. He exchanged glances with TV4. How does it feel? The half-witted sports reporter shoves his microphone in the face of the Breathless Athlete on the finishing line.     “I can only regret that the court did not come to a different conclusion,” he said a bit stuffily.     “Three months in gaol and 150,000 kronor damages. That’s pretty severe,” said She from TV4.     “I’ll survive.”     “Are you going to apologise to Wennerström? Shake his hand?”     “I think not.”     “So you still would say that he’s a crook?” Dagens Nyheter.     The court had just ruled that Blomkvist had libelled and defamed the financier Hans-Erik Wennerström. The trial was over and he had no plans to appeal. So what would happen if he repeated his claim on the courthouse steps? Blomkvist decided that he did not want to find out.     “I thought I had good reason to publish the information that was in my possession. The court has ruled otherwise, and I must accept that the judicial process has taken its course. Those of us on the editorial staff will have to discuss the judgement before we decide what we’re going to do. I have no more to add.”     “But how did you come to forget that journalists actually have to back up their assertions?” She from TV4. Her expression was neutral, but Blomkvist thought he saw a hint of disappointed repudiation in her eyes.     The reporters on site, apart from the boy from Dagens Nyheter, were all veterans in the business. For them the answer to that question was beyond the conceivable. “I have nothing to add,” he repeated, but when the others had accepted this TV4 stood him against the doors to the courthouse and asked her questions in front of the camera. She was kinder than he deserved, and there were enough clear answers to satisfy all the reporters still standing behind her. The story would be in the headlines but he reminded himself that they were not dealing with the media event of the year here. The reporters had what they needed and headed back to their respective newsrooms. 

Editorial Reviews

“Dazzling…. Marvelous characters and a wonderful story built around the most difficult of all plots, the locked room…. It has everything a reader could want and more…. Don’t miss it.” - The Globe and Mail“An utterly fresh political and journalistic thriller that is also intimate and moral. In spite of its dark unearthings Stieg Larsson has written a feast of a book, with central characters you will not forget." - Michael Ondaatje“An exceptional effort for a first-time crime novelist. In fact, a fine effort for any crime novelist…. This book is meticulously plotted, beautifully paced, and features a cast of two indelible sleuths and many juicy suspects." - Boston Globe“Imagine the movies of Ingmar Bergman crossed with Thomas Harris’s novel The Silence of the Lambs. Larsson’s mesmerizing tale succeeds because, like P.D. James, he has written a why-dunit rather than a whodunit.” - USA Today“The hottest book on the planet.” - Entertainment Weekly“The ballyhoo is fully justified.… The novel scores on every front—character, story, atmosphere, translation.” - The Times (London)“Already a blazing literary sensation internationally, Swedish journalist’s dark-hearted thriller … is now poised to burn up bestseller lists in America…. To the new breed of Watson and Holmes, skoal!” - Vanity Fair“A striking novel, full of passion, an evocative sense of place and subtle insights into venal, corrupt minds.” - The Observer (UK)“As vivid as bloodstains on snow—and a perfect one-volume introduction to the unique strengths of Scandinavian crime fiction.” - Lee Child“Remarkable…. Like a blast of cold, fresh air to read…. It features at its center two unique and fascinating characters: a disgraced financial journalist and the absolutely marvelous 24-year-old Lisbeth Salander—a computer-hacking Pippi Longstocking with pierced eyebrows and a survival instinct that should scare anyone who gets in her way." - Chicago Tribune“Larsson’s novels are a danger to public life. Parks become clogged with readers; the working world is paralyzed—all because no-one can let go of his books.” - Bams (Germany)“What a cracking novel! I haven’t read such a stunning thriller debut for years. The way Larsson interweaves his two stories had me in thrall from beginning to end. Brilliantly written and totally gripping." - Minette Walters“More than a book, a drug.” - Nouvel Observateur (France)“Swedish crime fiction, like the country itself, has both class and a social conscience. It was only a matter of time before it produced its own War and Peace…. The plotting and pacing are masterful. No wonder Europe has gone wild over Blomkvist and his riveting sidekick.” - Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)“Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then add an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson’s first novel…. Larsson uses his reportorial eye for detail and an instinctive sense of mood to create a noirish picture of Stockholm and a small island community … showing us both the bright, shiny lives of young careerists and older aristos, and a seamy underworld where sexual and financial corruption flourish.” - The New York Times“When a writer delivers such a complex and fascinating portrayal like that of Lisbeth Salander all we can do is bow down in gratitude. It doesn’t get much better than this.” - Gefle Dagblad (Sweden)“So much more than a thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dazzling novel of big ideas. It tackles issues of power, corruption, justice, and innocence—all the while drawing you into the twists and turns of a frighteningly suspenseful mystery.” - Harlan Coben“A fascinating mystery of family and business dynamics with a splendid cast of characters…. Sex, death, money, power, intrigue—this novel has them all.” - The Edmonton Journal“Wildly suspenseful ... Variously a serial-killer saga, a search for a missing person and an informed glimpse into the worlds of journalism and business … Lisbeth is a punk Watson to Mikaels dapper Holmes, and she's the coolest crime-fighting sidekick to come along in many years.” - The Washington Post“A big, intricately plotted, darkly humorous work, rich with ironies, quirky but believable characters and a literary playfulness that only a master of the genre and its history could bring off.” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette“A whip-smart heroine and a hunky guy who needs her help? This sexy, addictive thriller is everything you never knew you could get from a crime novel.” - Glamour“Dark, labyrinthine, smart, sexy, utterly original, and completely captivating, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo delights at every level. Nuanced, sympathetic characters, caught in a tangle of unusual and compelling relationships, grapple with a baffling family mystery and with their own demons in the unique literary environment of modern-day Sweden. This book is artful and grand entertainment. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.” - John Lescroart“A fine, complex and rewarding novel.” - Dallas Morning News“In nearly a half-century of reading mystery and crime fiction, I can remember no more captivating or original character than Lisbeth.”— - Otto Penzler, editor of The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, owner of The Mysterious Bookshop“A striking novel. Just when I was thinking there wasn’t anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson with this wonderfully unique story. I was completely absorbed.” - Michael Connelly“This novel is almost impossible to put down.” - Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC)“The biggest Swedish phenom since ABBA.” - People“With subplots tucked inside subplots like a set of nested Russian dolls, the book relies less on pulse-pounding action (though it has its moments) than on a meticulous exploration of both evidence and character, plus finely crafted revenge…. A summary only hints at the richness of this book.” - Houston Chronicle“[Larsson] tells his crime story cleverly, but the zing in Dragon Tattoo is inked in its two central characters…. Lisbeth Salander has earned a spot in the sorority [of] my favorite gutsy females.” - The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)“I doubt you will read a better book this year.” - Val McDermid“Offers compelling chunks of investigative journalism, high-tech sleuthing, and psychosexual drama. What a shame that we only have three books in which to watch the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world" - Booklist“A compelling, well-woven tale that succeeds in transporting the reader to Sweden for a good crime story.” - Los Angeles Times“Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family’s remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller…. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden’s dirty not-so-little secrets, this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)“A rip-roaring serial killer adventure.” - Mail on Sunday (UK)