Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Book of the Week - Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I am travelling again for the next three weeks, so mainly catching up with books I picked up earlier in the year but haven't had a chance to read yet. At the moment I am reading (and thoroughly enjoying) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) was a Swedish writer and journalist, who wrote three detective novels (The Millenium Series) prior to his sudden death from a heart attack in November 2004. "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (2005, UK release in January 2008), "The Girl Who Played With Fire", (2006, UK release in January 2009) and "Castles in the Sky" (working title) (2007, English title not confirmed, UK release in January 2010). Before his career as a writer, Stieg Larsson was mostly known for his struggle against racism and right-wing extremism. In the middle of the 1980’s he helped to start the anti-violence project “Stop the Racism”. This was followed by the founding of the Expo-foundation in 1995, where he later became Chief Executive. From 1999 on, he was appointed the chief editor of Expo, a magazine published by the organization Expo.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has had multiple reprints, and the first edition hardcover by Quercus is now uncommon, but worth picking up if you can find a copy at near cover price (£14.99). "Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history."

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