I first read the Millennium trilogy around 4 years ago whilst on holiday. Despite being surrounded by beautiful scenery, the French coast being just a short distance away, I couldn’t seem to read Larsson’s crime thriller fast enough.
I am not alone, the books are wildly popular with millions of copies sold worldwide – Larsson’s trilogy can even boast successful Swedish and American film franchises to boot. The narrative follows journalist Micke Blomkvist who finds himself humiliated at trial having been fed false information. Shortly after, computer hacker and security company employee Lisbeth Salander is confronted by Blomkvist – a man by the name of Henrik Vanger has, after careful consideration and information garnered by Salander, hired him to investigate the 36 year old disappearance of his niece Harriet Vanger. What follows is gripping to say the least – if ever there was a page turner this is it!
Not only is the disappearance and secrecy of the Vanger family compelling in itself, but Larsson’s characters are fascinating and entirely convincing in their own right. Particular mention should be made of Lisbeth – Salander is interesting, strong in every sense of the word and refreshingly different. Larsson does not allow her to conform to ‘heroine’ stereotypes, and yet she is the sincere ‘heroine’ of the piece, who for all of her flaws and the reader’s frustrations you cannot help but respect and adore. In short, Lisbeth is the crowing glory of the series.
As for the difficult subject matter that Larsson deals with, namely murder, abuse and sexual assault, the books never seem to wallow in their misery. The narrative is constantly driven forward by the characters, and the momentum that carries throughout the books comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Would I recommend this trilogy? Absolutely – if you have a copy lying around, what are you waiting for? And if you don’t, be sure to find one!
***For anyone that has already read the trilogy and finds themselves wanting more, David Lagercrantz, a Swedish journalist and best-selling author, has written a sequel to the Millennium books- The Girl in the Spider’s Web.***