Hello! This is one of my all time favourite novels. I have read it many times but it’s been a few years between visits now. I really felt myself pining after it lately though so picked it up and it’s still a wonderful read. I read somewhere online a while ago that people have a tendency to revisit the stories they know well because there is comfort in knowing the outcome. I am currently staring dead-eyed into the eyes of an approaching deadline and rapidly running out time meant that something familiar and comfortable was really lovely. It was great to fall back in love with this novel.
Don’t mistake me though for the most part this is not a nice novel. Nazis, violence against women, corrupt business, journalism, a family who are generally unpleasant, there is really a lot going on in this novel! There are several narrative strands that run through this novel, however characters dip in and out and have their own stories alongside the larger arc of the narrative.
Firstly, Mikael Blomkvist’s journalistic career has just taken a nose dive after the sources for his story have evaporated. Strung out and in an attempt to save Millennium, the magazine Blomkvist part owns, he takes on a very unusual job. He finds himself writing a family chronicle while investigating the disappearance of a girl in the 60s while waiting to complete his gaol time.
Henrik Vanger, the head of the Vanger Corporation, is a very old man when he finally employs someone else to look into the disappearance of his niece Harriet Vanger. He is obsessed and tormented with finding the truth and is convinced it was a family member. He is also convinced that who ever it was is taunting him by sending him Harriet’s signature gift to him on every birthday- a framed pressed flower. However Vanger is no fool, he employs Milton Security to investigate into Blomkvist before offering the job.
The researcher Milton Security use is their best, Lisbeth Salander. She is tattooed, enigmatic, anti-social, so thin she appears anorexic and the best research assistant they have. Salander has a complicated life, she is a ward of the state and finds herself in a predicament when her guardian suffers a stroke and is replaced with someone with a different regard for her and the rules.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this novel. It is as much a novel to solve a crime as it is a novel on the quest to reveal the truth about a finance giant. But I’m not going to tell you any more. If you haven’t read it or seen it you should fix this and give it some time. It’s an elegant novel that has a lot of moving parts and is utterly engrossing. And I am sure that I will pine over it, again and again.