The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first novel in The Millennium Trilogy.

It was published in 2005, one year after the author Stieg Larsson’s death.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
It received The Glass Key Award form Crime Writers of Scandinavia in 2006.
According to figures from June 2011, the Millennium Trilogy has together sold 60 million copies in more than 50 countries.  

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Plot summary

The middle-aged financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of the leftwing magazine Millennium in Stockholm is sentenced to a stiff fine and three months in prison for libeling billionaire industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerström.

Editor-in-chief Erika Berger, Blomkvist’s friend, lover, and business partner, wants to fight on but he believes that unless he steps down as publisher and from the board, his professional disgrace will drag the magazine down with him. Just as he is at a loose end, Blomkvist is offered two richly rewarded projects by Henrik Vanger, former head of the Vanger industrial empire, who had Blomkvist thoroughly invested by Milton Security, who assigned their top dirt digger, Lisbeth Salander, to the job. 

On his estate on the tiny island of Hedeby, several hours from Stockholm, Vanger persuades the reluctant and skeptical Blomkvist to take on the search for his niece, already missing 40 years, presumed dead, by promising him evidence that Wennerström committed fraud. Blomkvist’s cover for his investigation is that he’s to spend a year writing the Vanger family history. Vanger believes Harriet was murdered by a member of the extended Vanger family, dozens of whom were present in Hedeby on the day of her disappearance.

The island was isolated by an accident to a fuel tanker that blocked the only bridge, so this is a locked-room mystery, with this exception: while a murder is presumed, there is no body. Each year on his birthday the murderer torments Vanger by sending him a framed pressed flower, a habit Harriet had while alive. Blomkvist moves to a grimly uncomfortable cottage on Hedeby in the middle of a foul Swedish winter. He analyzes forty years of files Henrik Vanger has obsessively built up in his attempt to isolate his relative who murdered his niece. 

Blomkvist discovers that the Vanger family includes rather a large number of wife-beaters and what at times appears to be a predominance of outright Nazis, fellow- travelers and racists. The Vanger family, all with shares in the corporation, want Blomkvist gone: they have plenty to hide and don’t want Henrik, 82 and childless, to spend his money on dirt-digging journalists. 

Meanwhile, back in Stockholm, Lisbeth Salander’s legal guardian Holger Palmgren falls ill and is replaced by Nils Bjurman. We discover that Salander has been declared unfit to handle her own affairs and is considered mentally and morally subnormal by social services! Bjurman is a sadist who extorts sexual favors from Salander in return for allowing her to spend her own money on a new computer. Later he rapes her; she videotapes this event, returns with a Tazer to stun him, ties him up, then uses the videotape to blackmail him into writing good reports of her to the social services, with a view to eventually having a court declare her rehabilitated and capable. She roughly tattoos, ‘I am a sadistic pig, a pervert, and a rapist’ in large letters on his belly. 

Blomkvist discovers that Salander has hacked into his computer and hires her to help him decode the meaning of baffling entries in Harriet’s diary. After some false starts they discover that what they have is a list of names of brutally murdered women corresponding with Bible verses describing forms of terminal ancient punishments. On the premise that Harriet found out about the serial killer and was killed by him before she could expose him, they investigate further. 

While Salander is away following a paper trail already half a century old, Blomkvist stumbles into the torture chamber of a serial killer, who strips him naked, hangs him up, and confesses to forty years of rape and murder. He admits to raping but not murdering Harriet, whose disappearance baffles him too. As the killer starts to strangle Blomkvist, Salander, who has just independently solved the mystery of the biblical killings, bursts in and rescues him. Later they solve the Harriet mystery too. 

Vanger, of course, led Blomkvist by the nose on the Wennerström matter; he has no useful evidence. It is left to Salander, the computer hacker, to give Blomkvist the goods on Wennerström, which makes Blomkvist, the convicted libeler, a media superstar and ensures the survival of his magazine Millennium.

In the process Salander ends up with Wennerström’s fortune. 


By Editor

479 thoughts on “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
  1. Entrancing movie with great plot and important message not to mess with women – you never know when that one individual will react like Lisbeth did. Lisbeth is driven by survival because of her own probably not so savory past. She is exactly a product of what she was being subjected to by a man in a ‘superior’ position who grossly underestimated her intelligence and inventiveness.

    Lynn Greyling,

  2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an amazing piece of work and Lisbeth and Blomkvist jst made an everlasting impact on my mind…….lukin forwrd to see d movie nw

    Prerna Singh,

  3. There is a typo on this page

    It received The Glass Key Award form Crime Writers of Scandinavia in 2006.should be

    It received The Glass Key Award from Crime Writers of Scandinavia in 2006.

    Salomon Liberman,

  4. Bought the book for a flight 3 years ago, finally got around to reading it. I can’t believe I deprived myself of this book for so long! Amazing story, even translated into English it was brilliant. Ate TGWTDT in 3 days!

    Watched both American and Swedish movies. Thought they were both pretty good

    Daniel C,

  5. I watched all 3 movies. I love each one more and more! I usually don’t do subtitles but it’s a must see. The American version sucks!!! Please make a 4th movie. I hope they hook up again. They have so much chemistry!!

    Suzanne s,

    1. I just saw the sweedish version and then fast fowarded the us one. The original was great, the us sucked. They made the girl look week and the full focus was on the man (daniel craig)…


    2. Really, The US version of the film is so much more accurate and encompasses the real Lisbeth. Try reading the books and tell me the Swedish versions are better.


  6. the whole series is just like a drug, u just have to go back to it even though u try remaining away from it even during the semester exams. the interwoven characters are like just black and white colors mixing together to give a perfect grey, just love wish there was more to Lisbeth Salander and her adventures into black, grey and white of the world. hats off to Stieg Larsson, just wish that u were alove to see ur work become such a sensation and such a masterpiece.

    Steig Larsson u are the legend.


  7. i just finished reading TGDT by S. Larsson.

    all i can say is i need to read the 2nd & 3rd installment.,

    1. You won’t be disappointed. The second book as well as the second movie, are the best of the two trilogies in my opinion. But all three books and movies are well worth experiencing.


    2. I still say the movies do not do justice to the books and one has to read them all either before or after seeing the movie (your own preference). The second book and movie I did kind of simultaneously and even though the movie spoiled the suspense for me of the ending, I still enjoyed reading all the details of the book! I would definitely recommend these books to anyone!


  8. Will never understand why crime drama is so popular. All fiction is enjoyed by people with boring lives, what makes these any different?


    1. Well, with that sort of assumptions we could generally say that all movies and books are enjoyed by people with boring lives. Fiction is enjoyed because it’s different from reality, drama – because it relates to reality. In this way, they are different.


  9. I have read all of the Millenium books and found it quite gripping. The writing style is quite unique and leaves the reader wanting to read more. I couldn’t believe it when i heard that Larsson had died the same day as giving his editors the manuscripts of these brilliant books. I find Salander as a brilliant role model for women everywhere as she does not allow men to push her around. The events in the second book lead brilliantly to the third book. I am hoping to read The Girl with the pearl earring, although it is not linked to the Millenium series, the author follows Larssons style of writing quite clearly.

    Naomi Robinsons,

  10. Without a doubt, this trilogy was the most thrilling, gripping and addictive series I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Larsson sucked you into his novels, and at the conclusion of the third book – left you desperate for more.


    1. You are so right. Just finished third and am mourning the death of Larson. The characters are sharply defined and the protagonists are more than likable. Oh why can’t other authors offer such unforgettable characters???

  11. I read the novel and still not yet done with. I watched the movie i think 3 times already. what i like in this trilogy is there is a mystery and thrilling action. there is a lesson that Larsson is saying in the girl with the dragon tattoo is don’t really abuse women. I read the article in Wikipedia that Mr. Larsson has a woman getting raped by a group of men he has watched the whole thing and didn’t do anything about it i was amazed because he told all the things he wanted to write I’m so happy that Mr. Larsson made a girl heroine that is unique and a journalist that is a style of solving the mystery in here i love this trilogy. But sadly i only have the girl with the dragon tattoo

    Mawyy 🙂,

    1. Don’t you have a library in your town to borrow the books from? Fortunately I do and got all 3 books at the same time. Finished 2 which seriously can be disruptive to your life but luckily I have the time and no one to answer to so its fine. Just about to start the 3rd one. They can get so intense and you don’t mind the details too because there is always the anticipation of something unbelievable to come!


  12. I use to read detective novels. Millenium is one of the best ones I read for years. Kill your TV and read Millenium.

    Gil, a French in Vienna,

    Reply to this comment
  13. Simply fantastic, stricly recommended..

    Marco Lecis – Italy,

    Reply to this comment

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