I want to write an honest review and to do so my conscience is forcing me to first make a disclaimer: I cannot recommend "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"--officially. To say it's disturbing would be an understatement. On Elisabeth's 'Clean-O-Meter' it's definitely a 10- 'read at your own risk and you didn't hear about it from me'. I read somewhere that the book's original Swedish title was "Men Who Hate Women". This should give you an indication as to the nature of this novel.
Just recently I skimmed the book before writing my review and found myself caught up in the story all over again. There's some financial jargon and lots of names to keep straight, which I was very unsuccessful at, but besides that it's definitely my type of book. It's modern, not a cheeseball cornfest, and has layers of plot and intrigue.
To give you the jist of it...Blomkvist and Salander work together to find out what happened to a woman with a shady family history. This is not your usual story of a journalist with a side kick, following clues and solving crimes. By the end of the book you might be wishing this was the usual story of a journalist with a side kick, solving crimes and kicking butt. That's how.... unusual this story is.
In developing Salander's character I have to say, "Bravo Steig!" I'm sure in the real world we would all shy away from Salander...to put it nicely. She's cold, awkward and a social misfit and she prefers it that way. But reading the pages and learning why she's that way I came to understand and enjoy her. She's a super hero in a harsh and unfair world. Well, she doesn't have magical powers but her computer hacking skills and photographic memory are nearly superhuman. And she doesn't wear costumes but she has a dragon tattoo and fights against evil!!