Monday, August 23, 2010
In Stieg Larsson's trilogy, he tackles political, cultural, and psychological issues in a way that few mystery series do. The trilogy features a number of wonderful characters, but focuses primarily on Mikael Blomkvist, a dedicated journalist, and Lisbeth Salander, a strange yet brilliant young woman. The series begins with the two on the trail of a murder mystery and financial corruption in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In the second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire, it is up to Mikael to save Lisbeth from allegations that she herself is a murder while also working on a huge story on sex trafficking. The trilogy culminates with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest where Lisbeth finds herself still under suspicion. Mikael joins forces with the police against the legal system and an unknown group within the Secret Police to finally save his friend Lisbeth from her past. While all share the element of murder, the focus of the thrillers shift from financial to police procedural to political and legal.
All three books are superbly written and make the reader think about the wrongs some suffer in this world. While I felt the first book was slow to reach the crux of the story, I felt rewarded at the end of each. I enjoyed them so much that I was a bit sad to finish the final book knowing there will be no more.
If you're interested in the opinions of others, I recommend Maureen Corrigan's Fresh Air review and Diane Rehm's Readers' Review segment of July 21, 2010.