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Earlier this week I decided it was high time that I got this reading train back on track. So I picked up a book that I had started three times but never managed to actually finish: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.

I bought Dragon Tattoo back when I started hearing a lot of buzz about how amazing the series was. I read the first few chapters, shrugged, and concluded that maybe it wasn't for me. This process repeated itself twice; once when the American movie came out, then again when I got my Kindle Fire for Christmas. All three times I made it to almost the exact same spot when I got bored.

But this week I was bound & determined to actually finish the thing. 

I am really glad I did. 

In Dragon Tattoo, disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by an enigmatic industry mogul, Henrik Vanger, to write a history of the Vanger family and uncover what happened to his niece Harriet Vanger in the summer of 1966. Blomkvist's story intertwines with that of Lisbeth Salander, a very misunderstood young woman with a lot of baggage and a unique gift for personal investigations. 

I thought I knew the ending to this book multiple times; I had worked out what happened to Harriet as I read and was confident in my conclusion.

Every single time I was wrong.  Really, really wrong. 

While the book initially holds itself out as a locked-room mystery set on an island instead of in a mansion, Larsson's story travels far beyond the borders of the island. It draws into itself different topics that you would not expect based on the first few chapters alone. 

There are parts of the story that are disturbing and uncomfortable to read. At the end of the day, the book feels like an exorcising of Larsson's inner demons more than anything else (yes I've heard the story about Larsson's past. Click on the word "demons" if you haven't). I would have given it five stars instead of four on GoodReads but honestly the violence towards women was a bit too pervasive and too extreme. While Larsson didn't cross any lines in my opinion, he danced far too close to it for comfort and didn't seem to have an agenda other than just getting something out of his soul. Maybe if there had been some other purpose for the violence, some sort of moral of the story, I wouldn't be as uncomfortable with the violence. 

Will I finish the series?? Absolutely. I may need to let it digest for a week or so before I launch into book two but I have every intention of reading the other two books. Dragon Tattoo was a fun, escapist read, perfect for a rainy day like today and at the end of the day I am glad that I read it. 

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