The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. What a fantastic book. I wasn't sure when I started it, since it was pretty dry at the beginning. But once you get into the story, you get roped in. Larsson weaves a story that you just can't get out of your head. And he creates characters that you can't forget.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows the story of two different characters, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Lisbeth is a social outcast and expert computer hacker, who's job is to snoop into people's lives. Mikael is a financial journalist who was just disgraced for publishing a story without credible sources. Blomkvist is hired by Henrik Venger, a well known businessman, to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet Vanger. The case has been going on for decades, and no new leads have been made in years. But Blomkvist, and eventually Lisbeth, soon get far into the case, which reveals some terrible horrors that are hidden in the Vanger family's past. Thrilling and fast paced, you'll won't want to put it down until you know what happened to Harriet Vanger.
Like I stated before, this book starts out very slowly. There's a lot of explanation of financial matters, description of the financial situation of Sweden, etc., etc. It's not really that exciting to read, but you are greatly rewarded once you get past it. Once Blomkvist begins investigating the Harriet Vanger case, the story starts moving at a faster pace, and it's difficult to put the book down. You just want to know what could possibly happen next.
Besides creating a great story, Larsson also creates characters that are unforgettable. Lisbeth Salander is one of them. Lisbeth is such a unique and quirky character that she intrigues you the first time that you are introduced to her. You want to know what happened to her to make her the way she is. Unfortunately, you don't really get that much about her past, at least in this book. Hopefully this changes in the later books, because I really would like to know what makes Lisbeth the way she is. Something bad happened in her past, and we don't know what yet.
Blomkvist is also an interesting character. As the reader, you get a little more insight into him than Lisbeth, mainly because he narrates more of the story. He is quirky in his own way, though not nearly as quirky as Lisbeth. Larsson seemed to have taken a lot of time to develop these characters, and it shows. They are very well fleshed out and very believable characters. I think that's what makes the novel. The characters. It's fantastic.
So, what am I reading next? The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. Hopefully I can learn more about Lisbeth! :)