By Danielle Christopher
Spoiler warning! These summaries contain plot points.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Millennium Trilogy)
Harriet Vanger, a member of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared without a trace more than forty years ago. All these years later, her uncle continues to try to discover what happened to her. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist recently sidelined by a libel conviction, to investigate. Blomkvist is aided by the pierced and tattooed computer prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together, they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption on their way to discovering the truth of Harriet Vanger’s fate.
This book is a great start to the triology. It can stand alone or intrigue – either way, you’ll want to keep reading the next two books. As always though, read the books before seeing the movie. You will miss tons of gems and twists in the story. In the second book of the triology,The Girl Who Played with Fire, Mikael Blomkvist, also a publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to friend, Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the murders. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse which forces her to face her dark past.
This book has many disturbing scenes, I had to put it down several times. Keep on reading though, you will be surprised right to the last page.
In the final and third book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition, in the ICU of a Swedish city hospital with a bullet wound to her head. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one; if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable (like herself) to suffer abuse and violence. On her own, she will plot revenge against the man who tried to kill her, as well as the corrupt government institutions that nearly destroyed her life.
This third book wraps up the trilogy very nicely. The ending was not for me but I will not spoil it. I still recommend reading all three before seeing the Swedish or American versions of the films.
Stieg Larsson (born August 15, 1954 in Skelleftehamn, Sweden as Karl Stig-Erland Larsson) was a Swedish journalist and writer who passed away in 2004.
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
If you are a fan of the Shopaholic series, or just need a break from business proposals, this book is easy on the eyes.
Becky Brandon figured motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true – a shopping friend for life! But it is trickier than she thought as her two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping. The toddler creates havoc everywhere, from Harrods to her own Christening. She hires taxis at random, her favourite word is Mine, and she even starts bidding for designer bags on eBay. On top of everything else, there is a big financial crisis in the world. People are scaling back, including all of Becky’s personal shopping clients. She and Luke are still living with Becky’s Mum and Dad. To cheer everyone up, Becky decides to throw a surprise birthday party on a budget, but then things become really complicated. Who will end up on the naughty step, who will get a gold star, and will Becky’s secret wishes come true?
A great way to read is as follows: fireplace is on, Chardonnay at your side, and the kids are asleep! I laughed and related to her struggles in motherhood. A great gift for a fan of this author.
All books are available at all major bookstores and online.