If a book has mass amounts of hype around it, there is one guarantee. In a year’s time, it will be in Goodwill or a thrifty used book store with five duplicate copies. I had friends, relatives, and Entertainment Weekly toting the quality, addictive-ness, and tension working like magic in the “Millennium Trilogy.” While I wasn’t as much interested in the series at the time, when I saw a few copies in Goodwill (it was nice to be able to pick the book with less tattered pages) I thought, why not?
The awkward thing about loving to read is that many times, when speaking with another reader, you end up in a back and forth of: Have you read this? Have you read this? searching for where your explorations diverge. Books aren’t like movies or TV shows where with one sitting you can catch up and join in on water cooler conversation. Hopefully, by finally catching up on Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I’ll have more in common with my fellow reader.
In One Sentence: Ruined reporter/editor sent on an investigation into a family mystery, gets a cool sidekick, and drinks lots of coffee.
Favorite Line: “She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding; she had to protect herself from social authorities, child welfare authorities, guardianship authorities, tax authorities, police, curators, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, and bouncers, who (apart from the guys watching the door at Kvarnen, who by this time knew who she was) would never let her into the bar even though she was twenty-five. There was a whole army of people who seemed not to have anything better to do than to try and disrupt her life, and, if they were given the opportunity, to correct the way she had chosen to live it.” – pg 393 – 394
Review: As a first book in a series, it’s satisfying enough to enjoy without needing to continue. I may continue, but the point is that it isn’t necessary. This book is more or less a great episode of Law and Order: SVU. It had a slow start, but once the mystery was presented I kept turning the pages until it was solved. While I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing, I was disappointed with the character relationships and I don’t see this book as being a very good re-read. Don’t get me wrong. The characters are interesting (though I did have to refer to the family chart a few times to keep track of everyone) but as they delved deeper into relationships or severed ties, it became easy come – easy go. No one does any work. All of the bonds are created through circumstance and not challenged beyond that. Maybe it changes in the later books; I may never know. This is a great one-time read, but I would recommend Tami Hoag’s Dark Horse as an alternative to get both the gripping mystery and lasting character bonds.
The Book Would Have Ended a Lot Sooner If: There had been a coffee shortage on Hedeby.
Why so much coffee.
It actually became a part of the plot.
Actual Favorite Line: “He had drunk more coffee during the past twenty-four hours than at any time in his life, but by now he had learned that in Norrland it was rude to say no.” – p. 365