Thursday, July 8, 2010

Read-alike Guides - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

If you liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, you might enjoy one of these books:

Blood Work by Michael Connelly
Eight weeks after a heart transplant saves his life, former FBI agent Terry McCaleb discovers that his new heart came from a murder victim, leading Terry to become involved in tracking down the killer. This first Terry McCaleb mystery is a character-driven, complex thriller. Terry, like Salander and Blomkvist, finds himself manipulated by outside forces.

Cover Her Face by P.D. James
In the first Adam Dalgliesh novel, Mrs. Maxie must contend with her son's sudden engagement to her new parlor maid at Martingale manor house, Sally Jupp. The next morning, the whole village is shocked by the discovery of Sally’s body. Like the Millennium trilogy, this character-driven series has a moody tone and delivers one compelling read after another.

The Devil’s Feather by Minette Walters
When five women are killed in Sierra Leone, journalist Connie Burns suspects a mercenary of acting out his sadistic fantasies. Her attempt to expose him is complicated by her experience as a hostage in Baghdad. This theme of contemporary evil confronted by a woman (who goes into hiding to solve a crime related to her own personal trauma) will be familiar to Larsson’s readers.

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
Fans of Swedish mystery fiction will enjoy this first series title. Inspector Kurt Wallander, a local Swedish police officer whose own personal life is falling apart, copes with a wave of anti-foreign sentiment when he investigates the murders of an elderly couple. Later in the series, stubborn Linda Wallander joins her father on the force as a rookie.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
The Adelia Aguilar series features absorbing, detailed plotlines with intricate details, propelled by the tempestuous relationship between a brilliant but antisocial woman and her occasional lover. In the first novel, medical expert Adelia is sent to medieval Cambridge to exonerate Jewish prisoners accused of murdering four children.

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
From World War II to the present, this book follows the adventures of a freedom-seeking war martyr and an alcoholic police officer who is drawn into a mystery with past origins. Norwegian author Nesbo writes slow-building suspense using strong characters whose inner lives are slowly revealed, multilayered plots, and portrayals of the dark side of Scandinavian society.

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg
When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death and no one is willing to suspect foul play, Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson starts investigating on her own. Danish author Hoeg offers an original, elegantly crafted, savage story. The plot is cryptically clever, beginning with an individual and ending with a discovery on a larger scale.

Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears
In this dazzling historical mystery, John Stone, financier and arms dealer, dies falling out of a window. The quest to uncover the truth behind his death plays out against the backdrop of Europe's first great age of espionage, high-stakes international finance, and the start of the 20th century arms race. With plenty of narrative twists, this is as engrossing as Larsson’s contemporary setting.

Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman
In 1929 Munich, Inspektor Axel Berg hunts for a serial killer as the pressure to find a scapegoat intensifies, and he must fight for fairness for the accused and even his own career. An intriguing protagonist, Berg is flawed yet compassionate and heroic, forced to confront enormous odds in brutal times. Politics, prejudice, and revenge form the backdrop for murder in this historical mystery.

Sun Storm by Åsa Larsson
When a body is discovered in her hometown, a young lawyer is called home to northern Sweden, only to become trapped in a web of betrayal, religious fanaticism, and death. Like Salander, Rebecka Martinsson is a strong but troubled lead female character. Åsa Larsson uses psychological insight to reveal her characters and builds to a violent, explosive ending that Stieg Larsson fans will love.

Also by Stieg Larsson:

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Millennium, the magazine Blomkvist publishes, is about to do a story exposing the Swedish sex-trafficking trade when the authors of the story are both murdered, and Salander’s fingerprints are found on the gun. Larsson jumps between Blomkvist’s attempts to investigate the murder (and, he hopes, prove Salander’s innocence) and Salander’s own efforts to tie the killings to her past.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Blomkvist again sets out to prove Salander innocent of murder. To do so he must expose a decades-old conspiracy within the Swedish secret service that has resulted in, among other travesties, a lifetime of abuse for Salander, whose very life threatens to expose the deadly charade. Larsson amps up the suspense and adds great courtroom drama to the trilogy’s stunning conclusion.

About Stieg Larsson - A leading expert on right-wing extremist organizations, Stieg Larsson was the editor-in-chief of an anti-racist magazine called Expo. He died in 2004. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was made into a film in Sweden in 2009, and an American version is set to be released in 2012.

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