I have not felt the urge to read the three ‘ The Girl …’ books* by Stieg Larsson for ages, for not much better reason than 1) I dislike the titles, which look like they were made up by a search engine optimiser, and 2) that I am not a serious reader of crime fiction. But, a week ago I found myself needing a book, and Sa recommended them, so I thought I’d give them a go. Having now read all three, I would, marginally, recommend them.
The first book has a degree of character development, as well as the action. So, even though it gets increasingly hard to suspend disbelief, the story arc feels interesting. Enough to make you want to read the next at least.
But, like so many series, the principal attraction of the second and third is familiarity – taken on their own they aren’t worth bothering with. And, it’s a marginal call for me if they are worthwhile even then. There is virtually no character depth, with heros and villians signalled clearly within a paragraph of introduction, and then hammered home. It’s the literary equivalent of video games that put a red halo round the bad guys, and a green one round the good. I read on expecting some degree more character depth after the first book, but it never came. And, since the second and third are really the same huge book in two pieces, you end up reading them both.
In summary, you might enjoy the first. But, don’t expect it to build from there.