OK, so I know I’ve come to this one so much later than everyone else, but if you read this blog regularly then you will have worked out by now that I have never really been an early adopter (of anything). Add to that a natural reluctance to be reading something at the same time as everyone else and you get an inkling about why it’s taken me so long to pick this up.

In fact, my resistance was so strong I wasn’t even going to buy this as I thought it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, and it was the Book God who brought it into the house.

A little bit of context on the reading experience. As I’m sure I’ve said before, for all sorts of reasons I do most of my reading on the train to and from work, and this is how I started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Then Oscar weekend came along, and I planned to pull an all-nighter (succeeded, too). However, I have to recognise that I am getting on a bit and the whole staying up all night thing is not as easy for me as it used to be, so in addition to taking a day off on the Monday to recover, I decided to take an afternoon nap. I am not a natural napper; I don’t really like sleeping during the day and find it difficult to do so unless I am ill. So I decided that I needed something to read as a way of lulling me towards a natural, relaxing sleep.

Bad move.

I had read as far as page 149 in my copy. By the time I decided that I probably should move I had actually read the remainder of the book, that’s around 365 pages. In one afternoon. Can’t remember the last time I did that, but it tells you something about the power of the story.

So, plot synopsis very briefly in case there is anyone else out there who hasn’t had a go at this. Crusading journalist convicted of libel steps back from his day job and takes on a private commission, ostensibly the history of an industrialist’s family but actually an investigation into the disappearance and likely murder of said industrialist’s niece, probably by another member of the family. Throw in titular investigator, a young woman with, I think it’s fair to say, issues and you have a really enjoyable and gripping, if occasionally unpleasant, thriller. Don’t mind unpleasant, myself, so not an issue.

As a story it really tanks along at great speed. I never know how to judge translations (I don’t speak/read Swedish though I know a man who does) so can’t say how this stacks up to the original, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Book God has now got his hands on the first sequel so I’m sure I’ll be revisiting these characters later in the year.