Rated of 5
by David (San Antonio TX)
Book Titles Are Important
This book is not about Lisbeth Salander. It is about Mikael Blomkvist. The Blomkvist tale is highly improbable: I can't imagine hiring a journalist -- one on the losing end of a libel suit, disgraced, bound-for-jail -- to research and write the history of a prominent, albeit highly-dysfunctional family.
Worse, Larsson's penchant for using 20 words where one or two (or none) will do makes for a rather complex story that's sometimes very difficult to follow, and so a trial to read. (One hopes -- for clarity -- the published version will include a map of Hedeby Island.)
It's hard to say who the book would appeal to, but some knowledge on the reader's part of Swedish society and media is a must. The book's use of everyday detail (way too much, in my view) reminds one of Sue Grafton's novels. Some of the better scenes (typically those featuring Salander!) read a little like Thomas Perry.
But, bottom line, Stieg Larsson is no Henning Mankell...and Mankell to me is the gold standard in Northern European crime fiction.