A number of months ago, I decided to buy the first in the Millennium Trilogy — The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s taken me this long to get round to reading it (the result of an incurable book-buying habit, membership to a neighbourhood library, and ‘work’ books taking priority in the To Be Read mountain), and boy, I’m glad I did before making any rash decisions about buying the second and third parts.
Let’s be clear about what I’m not saying. This is not a bad book, nor is it poorly written. The pace was good and the middle section was definitely page-turning, but I was left pretty cold, colder than Mikael Blomqvist when he first went to Hedeby without winter clothing.
What I think my problem was with this novel was that it was utterly typical. Perhaps that is its failing: is it the archetypal crime thriller? There was also far too much hype — I did ignore most of it but I was certainly aware of the excitement over the trilogy and the film that was released this year. I do not comprehend the reams of positive press it’s received. It’s not bad but it’s certainly not remarkable.
Once the mystery of Harriet Vanger’s disappearance was solved, I pretty much had to slog through the rest of the novel. While it tied up the loose ends (mostly), it felt tacked on. I don’t know. It just didn’t excite me in the slightest and I’m not going to bother with the two subsequent novels.
Update: Amen, sister — Just because Larsson died, it doesn’t mean his books are good. In fact, they’re rubbish — well, she’s being a bit harsh, but I agree with the spirit of the editorial.