Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson

Basic plot

Mikael Blomkovist, a financial journalist convicted of libel finds himself roped into solving the mystery of Harriet Vanger, a member of one of Sweden's wealthiest families, disappearence. The fourty year old clues have gone ice cold but with the help of a young pierced and tattooed hacker/PI, Lisbeth Sander, they uncover more than they bargain for. True evil.

What I liked about this book

The ultimate 'closed room' mystery. A good read for all "whodunnit" buffs out there. The character development was very good and the plot itself quite compelling. Plus a chilling voyeuristic view into the mind of a psychopath. 

What I disliked about the book

Given the immense hype of this book, I had monumental expectations. Some parts were actually a struggle to get through due to the amount of detail that had to be assimilated (4 generations of an industrial family, the workings of the Swedish justice system and financial market). Additionally, I found the aging protagonist's inability to "keep it in his pants" and propensity to stand around in his birthday suit, a bit too much for my vivid imagination (maybe if he was younger..hehe). 

All in all a good book if you stick with it.

A quote I liked from this book
People always have secrets. It's just a matter of finding out what they are.

Rating: 3.5

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Queen's Sorrow by Suzannah Dunn

Basic Plot 

Mary Tudor, previously disinherited daughter of the infamous King Henry VIII finally ascends the throne of England only to find that ruling a kingdom and its people is not a simple matter of faith. Married to Phillip of Spain who does not love her and struggling to stamp out the religious strayings of her people, her desperation to rule and produce an heir results in unspeakable horrors. Raphael, the Spanish sundial-maker, a stranger in a hostile land bears witness to this historical tragedy.

What I liked about the book

At least now I know where the term 'Bloody Mary' came from. The book gives a detailed account of the events that occured during Mary Tudor's reign, and provides a good insight into the religious upheaval of the time. The author invokes such graphic images of horror as to how Mary punished the "heretics", people who claimed that the Bible can be read in English, priests who would not denounce their wife and children and basically any person who was a threat to Catholic England. It was an interesting read.

What I disliked about the book

At times the pace was a bit slow and since the story was told from Raphael's point of view, it was more focused on HIS past and HIS difficulties. 

A quote I liked from the book

"If faith unravels, then there is no faith and we're all lost."

Rating: 3.5/5


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