Discovering Lisbeth Salander for the first time

Readers around the world are (re)discovering Lisbeth Salander for the first time as part of Quercus and the MacLehose Press campaign, Read the Girl. Andrew Turner describes his first meeting with Lisbeth Salander.

Posted on June 17, 2015 in Reviews, What We're Reading
Tags: Review, crime fiction

So I am reading the girl. For the first time.

I know, I know. I work in publishing, for Quercus no less, and I still haven’t Read the Girl. Inexcusable you may feel and many would understand. I however feel I have a perfectly reasonable explanation.

  1. I was travelling in Australia when the book was first published
  2. I then completed a complete re-read of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series in preparation for the release of the final books – That is a 13 book re-read, just so you know
  3. Finally we were printing GORGEOUS new editions so I decided to wait

So I am halfway through book one and boy are they every bit as good as people claim.

I’ll be honest; I went in to the book with a bit of trepidation. I mean EVERYONE loves it PLUS I was asked to write a piece on what I thought about the book. Things had a chance to get awkward, and quickly.

Luckily from the prologue I was hooked. How sinister are the flowers!? How much do you want to know the mystery behind them?

And then there is Mikael and Lisbeth.

I know, I know it is all about ReadTheGirl, it is all about Lisbeth, and don’t get me wrong I can see why. But I kind of love Mikael too. The characters are such opposites and yet you can tell they have the potential to complement each other perfectly. I won’t go into if they do – I understand I am only supposed to be up to chapter 7 for the re-read and am currently on chapter 18, but you can see the potential for the to complement each other, in their personal and professional lives.

In Lisbeth Stieg has managed to create a character who I care about, one who I am routing for, and yet one who has shown zero emotion to the reader. Rack my brains as much as possible and I can’t think of one other fictional character who has offered so little emotionally and made me care about them so much. It just feels right with Lisbeth, you understand how withdrawn she is as you are spoon fed information about her life.

And then there is  Mikael. Charming, intelligent and quite brilliant. And not without a secret or two of his own.

For me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an intelligent and charming novel with a great story and a genuinely intriguing mystery which keeps you guessing all the way. This is enough reason to love it. But add in Mikael and the ethereal Lisbeth and you have a story you can’t help but fall in love with.


Andrew Turner, Communications Executive, Quercus Books

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