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Friday, February 5, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, 2008 * * * * *

In this international bestseller, a crusading journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, joins forces with a 24-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker, Lisbeth Salander, to investigate the whereabouts of a woman missing for over 40 years from one of the wealthiest families in Sweden. As mesmerizing as it is insightful, The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo is a multi-layered, multi-character tale full of social conscience and compassion, with insight into the nature of moral corruption. At its core, it is a fascinating character study of a young woman who easily masters computer code but for whom human interaction is almost always more trouble than it is worth.  Be warned, however, that the issue most dominating the novel is shocking sexual violence against women.  Larsson's other major elements include corporate malfeasance that threatens complete collapse of stock markets and anarchistic distrust of officialdom - how prescient! The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is part of the Milennium Trilogy which includes The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Air Castle That Blew Up. A murder mystery, family saga, love story, and a tale of financial intrigue wrapped into one satisfyingly complex and entertaining novel.

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