The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


Alyssa Gehrke

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the first book in the Millennium series.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first book of the Millennium series, is a psychological thriller by a Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. The book was published after Larsson’s death in 2005 and became an international bestseller. Larsson planned the series as having ten books, but due to his sudden death, only three were completed and published. In 2013, a publishing company gave permission to a Swedish author and crime journalist, David Lagercrantz, to continue the Millennium series with Larsson’s characters. There has been three more books published since 2015, and with over 100 million copies sold worldwide, it is one of the best-selling book series.

Harriet Vanger, a descendant of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago and her older uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a dedicated journalist who wants to redeem his honor, to investigate. Vanger believes that Harriet was killed by a member of his own family. Eventually, Mikael is aided by the punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander.

I should start by saying that this can be a slow-moving novel. It takes a little while to get to the action, like any book, and even though the novel doesn’t have a lot of violence, what is there is pretty brutal. Larsson creates some memorable characters, with both Lisbeth and Mikael being flawed yet believable, and the descriptions are helpful since they will be referenced throughout the whole series. The plot starts getting good right before the halfway point and from there it grabs you and doesn’t let go.

I’d reckon you’d bite my hand off if I laid a finger on you.”

— Stieg Larsson

I should also say that this is not a book that you would want your grandparents to read or that you would want to read out loud to your parents. There are parts that, in a movie, are rated R. These parts are what make the book what it is though, without it you wouldn’t have such a fascinating story. The original title, Men Who Hate Women, describes perfectly all of the R-rated parts.

In his writing, Larsson does not hold back. He has strong opinions on painful subjects and he will make them known. He may be longwinded and has a tendency to overwrite some of the details, like what brand of bread they are eating, but his novels are some of the best that I have ever read. He combines murder mystery, family saga, love stories, and financial intrigue into one complex and entertaining novel.

You can find this book at your local Barnes and Noble, Target, or on Amazon. You can also watch the movie that was made in 2011.


Alyssa Gehrke
I would give this story 10 out of 10 for their work