Forty years have passed, but the memory of Harriet Vanger still continues to haunt Henrik Vanger, Harriet’s uncle and now retired CEO of Vanger Corporations. As a young girl of 16 years, Harriet mysteriously disappeared off the face of an island where the Vanger family held an estate. At the time of the disappearance, the entire island was inhabited by members of the Vanger clan, and it was temporarily cut off from the mainland due to an accident.
Henrik Vanger sincerely believes that he lost his niece to a cold-blooded murderer, and that too at the hands of someone he considers family. Now, after all these years of a relentless search for answers, he seeks help.
Enter Michael Blomkvist - a struggling financial journalist, and Lisbeth Salander - a tattooed, pierced, 24-year-old anorexic and bisexual loner with a photographic memory. She is a private investigator with excellent hacking skills, but equally poor social skills.
As Blomkvist and Salander begin to dissect the cryptic case one step at a time, they realize that they are in for much more than what they initially bargained for. They find themselves on the trail of a serial killer, and are confounded when the only possible suspect to turn up under their radar is none other than Henrik Vanger himself, the only member old enough to have been around when all the murders took place.
As the case gets darker, the investigators find themselves trapped in a family history that reeks of blood and homicide. As they unravel one secret after the other, they almost risk their safety as they proceed.
At the heart of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo lies Larsson’s utter hatred and loathing for all kinds of violence inflicted upon women. As a teenager, he had helplessly witnessed the gang rape of a teenage girl, and this incident significantly influenced his writings. It is perhaps for this very reason that Lisbeth Salander, the female protagonist, has been portrayed as a symbol of female empowerment.
Published in September 16, 2008, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was an instant success in Sweden and other European countries. In 2009, the book went on to win the Galaxy British Book Awards and the Anthony Award for the best debut novel. Stieg Larsson was awarded the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for International Author of the Year in 2008, after his death. Hollywood created an adaptation of the novel in December 2011.
Directed by David Fincher, it starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Earlier in 2009, the Swedish film company Yellow Bird created film adaptations of the entire Millennium Series.
About the Author
Born in 1954 in Sweden, Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer. Best known for his Millennium Series, which was published after his death, he was also a photographer and a member of the Communist Workers League.
The other two books in the Millennium Series by Larsson are- The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
Stieg Larsson’s writing style is iconoclastic. His writing is downright brutal, raw, and real. From blood, violence, and crime - the essence of crime novels - he deals with issues that are seldom dealt with in crime novels. Sexual abuse, rape, neo-fascism, sex trafficking, and the abuse of individual rights are all dealt with in this series, making the text heavy yet insightful. With powerful female characters and intense themes, Larsson’s writing opens the readers’ eyes to the existing evils of human society and widespread corruption and injustice.
Larsson founded the Swedish Expo Foundation, which worked to eliminate right wing extremism and the white-power culture amongst youth and in schools. He died of a heart attack at the age of 50 in the year 2004.
Author: STIEG LARSSON
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