Stieg Larsson

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. 


479 comments on “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

  • Hellen F says:

    Ronney Mara – sucks… she can not be compared to Noomi Rapace.

    Brazilian people loved Noomi´s work, but please don´t let Rooney to blow it.

    PLEASE we BEG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    - Hellen F,

  • Dave says:

    One of the saddest books I have ever read. Yet beautifully written, I was simply unable to put it down.

    - Dave,

  • kp says:

    excellent film and book, look forward to reading the other and possible sequel to movie…. gotta love that daniel craig

    - kp,

  • vaishali singh says:

    this is one of the best book i have ever read….

    - vaishali singh,

  • Albina Aldave. says:

    Very good books, very bad spanish translation!

    - Albina Aldave.,

  • Ranjeet Bhamra says:

    I wasn’t a mystery book fan until I read ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.

    - Ranjeet Bhamra,

  • Ann says:

    It’s interesting!

    Love it

    - Ann,

  • kannan says:

    One Book for Life Success offers so much of wisdom – just awesome

    - kannan,

  • Jayden says:

    I really want to read it but not sure if it is a good book or if it will waste my time

    - Jayden,

    • monika, says:

      Urm. He didn’t. Stieg Larson died in 2004.As far as I’m aware, the books weren’t even published before his death.

      - R Baker,

  • Rory, says:

    Just try it, read and concentrate on it. But I suggest to see film trilogy first, it´s much easier to understand plot of book.

    - monika,

  • deborah messier says:

    i first saw the films in swedish and now on the 3rd book…the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest. all brilliantly written. really draws you into the story and characters’. it all sticks with you. i dont see the need for america to have done a film…doesnt come close to the original films/books. sorry to say but Stieg is the only way to go!

    - deborah messier,

  • Rick Norris says:

    I have not read a book in years. I bought the book in Atlata 8 days ago and finished it today. I can’t wait to buy the next one in the series.

    - Rick Norris,

  • Tide Waters says:

    Loved this series, the most outstanding I’ve read in a very long time. So sad there’ll be no more from Stieg Larsson.

    - Tide Waters,

  • omar furquani says:

    what a book… I read a lots of novel but Stig Larson’s novel is the best..

    - omar furquani,

  • Joshuuu. says:

    Gripping and Seductive.

    - Joshuuu.,

  • Donna Smith, Buffalo, NY 14220 says:

    I have never, and I mean never, as a compulsatory reader who reads 1-2 novels a week, read a series so thoughtfully written, never once fearing to break the readers heart, bring the reader to so violent of rage, or drop the reader so low when Salander’s heart is yet once again broken. Mr. Larsson simply makes no excuses not does he have the complusion to satisfy the reader and make a happy ending. You are left as bereft as Salader standing in the cold watching Blomkvist and Berger walk arm in arm. We, the reader, are taken on a ride absolute horrors against women, and cheer for the violence given back in such cunning maliciousness that you cheer Salander for each blow she strikes. Mr Larsson simply does not spare the reader one iota of courtesy, no apologies are made to bring vindication for the horrors perpetrated. Mr Larsson makes no apologies to the reader, he just continues to weave a story of intelligence, brutality, wringing emotion after emotion from the reader with spellbinding solid story telling intermingled with the history of Sweden, and a lesson in their the governmental structure and society. The rule of a government, that as a United States of America citizen, I at times found horrifying yet greedy for the next page, next line. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest are by the far the best written books I have ever enjoyed. Each and everyone was so phenominal to me, that I could not put it down, I would go to bed, only to jump out of bed after a short rest of maybe two hours to grab the book again to see what was next, only to realize that it was time to go to work and I had yet to sleep more than two hours. There were parts that had me laughing out loud and others that had me so horrified with brutality I could not believe what I was reading. I ran through so many emotions, that I was physically drained upon the conclusion. The Girl Who Played with Fire was in my eyes, even better than the first. We got know Salander and what made her tick in such a way as to cheer her for lashing out against those who harmed andhurt her. We cheered her relationship with Wu hoping this was the love that could unlock her. I hated Blomkvist at the end of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for being with Berger, never once feeling that any forgiveness should be offered him for unintentionally hurting her. Yet here he is in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest being her biggest champion, without having seen her face to face in wellover a year, nor understanding why she has rebuffed his attempts to rekindle a frienship with her. Yes he’s scooping the biggest story of the century, yet I believe he would drop the whole thing to set her free. We have been led down the darkest alley to see what formed and shaped this phenominal women and cheer for each step she takes out of her comfort zone to reach out to another person. The Girl Who Played with Fire has been my favorite book of the trilogy by far. All I can say is I really wish that Mr. Larsson was able to complete all 10 books that he had envisioned. I am so wrapped in the world that Stieg Larsson has created that I will do something I have never done before, and that is re-read all three books again only so that I don’t have to leave Sweden. It is a shame that we may never be able to read the Fourth book Mr. Larsson began before his sudden death and a shame that his readers could not hold on to one last peice of Salander, Blomkvist and Sweden. I do not believe that I will ever find another series such as this… It has been one hell of a ride! Thank you Mr. Larsson

    - Donna Smith, Buffalo, NY 14220,

  • 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 :),

    • says:

      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!
      - Rory,

  • 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.
    - Maddi,

    • Susan says:

      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???

  • 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,

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

    • says:

      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.
      - Viewster,

  • Layla says:

    I liked it but not alot,did not work especially when i saw it was about 650 pages and umm… I read it and for what? Nothing can you believe this book is such a stupid book.I bet so and beg you to not read it.It is stupid…!

    - Layla,

  • i just finished reading TGDT by S. Larsson. all i can say is i need to read the 2nd & 3rd installment.

    • says:

      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!
      - Rory,

    • says:

      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.
      - Jack,

  • donald says:

    learn to read

    - donald,

  • you mispelled "from"
    - xavier,

  • 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.
    - Arachnidvector,

  • 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,

    • says:

      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.
      - woty1515,

    • says:

      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)...
      - M.,

  • 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,

  • Best books ever
    - ,

  • she is my dream image, motorcycle and everything.
    - boop boop not sarah,

  • Just curious if this is a "True Crime" Book??
    - CanadianGirl,

  • This is amazing love this series !
    - Lynette Preston,

  • Gripping Tale, Do not feel like putting the book down.
    - G,

  • 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,

  • 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,

  • i must be the last person on earth who just started reading his work - what a fantastic talent.
    - jana,

    • says:

      me too! cannot sleep, reading, reading, reading
      - Maya D,

  • 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,

  • Mahak says:

    I totally love reading his books. What an amazing read.Thanks.