The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
by Stieg Larsson
Paperback: 600 pages
Publisher: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard (June 23, 2009)
Every year, Henrik Vanger received a framed pressed flower from his niece Harriett; then one year Harriett disappeared and the flowers stopped only to start up again the following year. Like clockwork the flowers arrive, but Vanger cannot locate his niece and assumes that someone, presumably the killer of his missing niece, is messing with him. He hires a journalist in an effort to find out what happened to her.
Disgraced journalist Carl Mikael Blomkvist is facing the prospect of jail time after being convicted of libel. He is contacted by a wealthy Swede named Henrik Vanger and offered asylum at his property in exchange for Blomkvist’s help in discovering what happened in the disappearance of Vanger’s niece over 30 years ago. The only catch is that Blomkvist is to disguise his investigation under the guise of writing the Vanger family history. In return, Vanger promises Blomkvist details of his past business dealings with Hans-Erik Wennerström, the man Bloomkvist is accused of libeling.
Before extending the offer, Vanger has Blomkvist investigated by the Milton security firm; the assignment is given to Lisbeth Salander, a young, anti-social, orphan rebel who likely suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. Lisbeth is a ward of the state, and she has her finances entrusted to a trustee. Her familiar trustee, with whom she finally had reached a good working relationship dies, and her new trustee is not so kind. He sexually abuses Lisbeth in order to control her and her access to her money. Eventually Lisbeth reaches a working relationship with him, but in a totally unexpected way.
Eventually their paths cross and Blomkvist and Salander work together to solve the disappearance of Harriett. All signs point to a member of the Vanger family, but there just doesn’t seem to be any solid evidence. Blomkvist’s daughter happens to solve the mystery of a series of numbers, the only thing that seems to tie Harriet’s disappearance to a string of murders going back decades before Harriet disappeared. Soon the pieces begin to fall into place, and dark Vanger family secrets are revealed. Fearing that the family secrets will get out, Blomkvist is captured, tortured and about to be killed to keep him silent; Lisbeth races to rescue him.