The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

In a crime-fiction, serendipity and crime for sake of it is the biggest turn off. It’s as if the writer ran out of ideas so the characters got lucky (or unlucky). That’s just not real. But Stieg Larsson is disturbingly real. It might sound clichéd – but this one is seriously not for the faint hearted.

Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced investigative journalist, is searching for a woman who has been missing for over forty years. Lisbeth Salander, a young weird hacker, gets herself in on it too. But this is bigger than their wildest imagination.

There are two plots running in parallel for most of the book – with their own sub-plots. You can imagine what happens when the two collide. Both plots are intense with emotions and perfect with timing. Larsson used the mundane of his characters like a tool to create sense of time and emotion – that is genius!

The only place where shit happens for sake of it is when (spoiler alert!) Blomkvist’s daughter cracks the bible code – that was far-fetched and clichéd. But that’s about it.

His characters are vivid and real – they are as confused, as good and as bad as any of us. And if that was not enough – the writing style adds to all of it. I can only imagine the thrill of reading it in Swedish.

Some might find it to be a work of extremely graphic and violating. But if you can keep the right and wrong aside for a minute – this is a work of art.