Was anyone else disappointed in what a creep old Henrik turned out to be? For almost 40 years, this man was so distraught over the disappearance of Harriet. Trying to find out what happened to this girl consumed him and pretty much destroyed his life. And then when he finds out that Martin has been kidnapping, raping and murdering women for the past 40 years, he wants to cover the whole thing up. I was so horrified by this. After everything this man has been through, he more than anyone should know what the families of those women were going through and he doesn’t care. He wants to cover the whole thing up to protect his company. What a creep. Henrik seemed like such a good and honorable man, but in the end he was just as rotten as the rest of his family.

Posted by Jimmy in Queens, NY , 21 February 2009

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10 thoughts on “Henrik”
  1. Maybe he just wanted to protect Harriet – she had after all been raped by her dad and brother???

    Posted by gingerwitch in London/UK ,

  2. Harriet is a grown woman. What happened to her is horrible, but Martin killed a lot of women and their families deserve to know what happened to them.

    Posted by Jimmy in Queens, NY ,

  3. Salander ensured that the families would know the truth and would be compensated.

    Posted by chloe in ottawa ,

  4. I think this is one of the most interesting moral questions of the book and in life. No question that the cover up would make life easier for many, particularly the Vangars but for the rest ….

    Posted by Paros in Birmingham ,

  5. How about Cecilia? She MUST have known the entire 40 years that Harriet was alive and safe courtesy of her sister. And she said nothing to Henrik or anyone else.

    Posted by Hugh in NYC ,

  6. I agree- this points out a real moral dilemma. families of the victims (mainly their having the knowledge of the death’s of their children etc…vs. the other people involved Harriet, Vanger family, business…by them not being told, money is given to violence against women groups, compensation would try to be given to the women’s families. I think that Hendrik would have weighed these things after talking with Frodo. difficult decision and I think they are helping more people in the long run. As to H’s obsession- he did think of her as his daughter-would he have gone on with his life had he not been sent the prints? great characters all of them. thanks Stieg

    Posted by Dave in Santa Cruz,CA ,

  7. Bottom line, I think Stieg painted himself into a corner here and took the only way left to get out. If the crimes of Martin and his father were revealed, then it wold have been a massive!! story. Then Mikael and Lisbeth would both have been drawn into the police investigation and the whole ending of the novel as written wouldn’t have been possible. It wasn’t just the easy way out for the characters, it was the easy way for the author. Not that I blame him, I don’t see how else he could have handled it at that point. Any have any good idea how to reveal the crimes without screwing the plot?

    Posted by MainLineBrat in Reno, NV ,

  8. Also, if anyone does find out, and tells the police or writes a story, Salander, Blomkvist, Henrik, Frode etc will all be in a huge amount of trouble for covering up mass murders! You can go to prison for that!!

    Posted by Cass in Christchurch ,

  9. Maybe Larsson just wanted to show how the entire Vanger family is screwed up – and leave it that. He may also be trying to show how many crimes are covered up in society to save a prominent corporation or person?

    Posted by Wasp13 in V. Kulla ,

  10. I agree. Henrik was desperate for Harriet disappearance. But he is not a good guy, in the end. The whole family was not good, but Harriet…. But she’s been living abroad for 40 years. Maybe a criticism to Sweden?

    Posted by Marco in Italy ,

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