For my 2nd read in 2011, you can click here or simply go to "older post" at the very bottom of this posting.
Originally, a friend of mine had recommended Stieg Larsson's trilogy to me. I had come across his work before on a small internet forum about books where I am one of the moderators, but what some of the group members there wrote about the books did not pique my curiosity enough to make me read them. I do trust my friends' recommendations, though, and therefore when, some months ago, I was not sure what to read next, I decided to give them a go.
Normally, this kind of thriller is not my type of book. The terrible things people do to each other are described in much detail, but somehow the author has managed not to descend to a level of gory vulgarity that would make me close the book in disgust.
The characters do not always do what the reader expects them to do - which is pretty much what people are like in real life.
The storyline is very complex but, again, the author somehow managed to keep the threads all going at the same time without getting into a muddle that makes it impossible for the reader to follow.
As the events succeed each other (the books are written mostly in a very clear chronological order, with calendar dates given at the start of each chapter), the reader can't help wanting to know what happens next - and once we know what happened, we want to know how those who have set themselves the tasks of finding out the truth get about their search and research.
This last part of the trilogy picks up exactly where the 2nd part left off, as if no time had elapsed in between. There are some sidelines which have nothing to do with the big picture, but are followed through in an interesting and rather surprising manner.
Some of the characters I quite like; others I don't think I would want to know in real life, if they existed.
A short note about the author:
(more can be found out here if you are interested)
Prior to his sudden death of a heart attack at the age of 50 in November 2004 he finished three detective novels in his trilogy.
Before his career as a writer, Stieg Larsson was mostly known for his struggle against racism and right-wing extremism. Starting in the late 1970s, he combined his work as a graphics designer with holding lectures on right-wing extremism for Scotland Yard. During the following years he became an expert on the subject and held many lectures as well as wrote many novels on the subject. In 1995, when eight people were killed by neo-Nazis in Sweden, he was the main force behind the founding of the Expo-foundation, a group intended on exposing neo-Nazi activity in Sweden. From 1999 onwards, he was appointed chief editor of the magazine Expo.
During the last 15 years of his life, he lived under constant threat from right-wing violence.
(Excerpts from the website linked above)
These books are not what I'd call an enjoyable, relaxing read. They make you think about the dark depths of human nature and what one person is capable of doing to another person.
My next book will have to be something completely different.