A strong caveat emptor to all who have not read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: Abandon all hope of reality all ye who enter here. This hilarious little book (all 200 pages of it) will only mystify and confuse you. But if you did read any or all of the world-wide bestsellers by the late Stieg Larsson, or sat through the sub-titled Swedish versions of the movies, it can only mean that it all made some sort of sense to you. If not, why would you have kept reading and/or watching to see what happened next?
"Sweden’s reindeer are being strangled and eviscerated in the forests by a mad serial killer...the clues point to a 4’10”, black-haired girl ninja with a large tattoo on her back..."
THE GIRL WITH THE STURGEON TATTOO is self-advertised as “Most definitely NOT the #1 International Bestseller.” It mischievously riffs off every nuance of that remarkable, if convoluted, series thriller, in much the same vein as Mel Brooks’s Springtime for Hitler played fast and loose with the Third Reich. Hitler’s name comes to mind in making the comparison because he serves as a background character in Lars Arffssen’s spoof, along with Joseph Stalin, Harry Potter and several other characters, both fictional and real, who appear in convoluted yet mesmerizing blockbuster thrillers.
Sweden’s reindeer are being strangled and eviscerated in the forests by a mad serial killer who also may have beheaded an unpublished but prolific Swedish thriller writer and his best friend. The clues point to a 4’10”, black-haired girl ninja with a large tattoo on her back whose image was captured on a surveillance camera in the act of the actual decapitation of the fiction writer. The Stockholm police have called on Mikael Blomberg, failed muckraking journalist from a once famous Swedish magazine that featured exposes of Sweden’s corrupt political and corporate world. The agile sword bearer on the tape closely resembles the infamous Lizzie Salamander, who was recently released from prison and a mental hospital after being found sane and, with Blomberg's aid, exonerated of murder. Has her mind finally snapped and she’s up to the tricks of which she was once tried and wrongly convicted? Only Blomberg knows where she lives, and he alone can help them track her down.
But wait, didn’t we learn that Lizzie (who closely resembles the character in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) had a twin sister? Plus, she had a gigantic half-brother who was certainly capable of strangling an adult reindeer with his bare hands. But wait, again. Didn’t he die a horrible death at the hands of a motorcycle gang while nailed to the floor of a warehouse at the end of the third Larssen book? And weren’t we left dangling about the gene pool and parentage of this devil’s batch of siblings, not to mention the possibility that others still roam the earth? And what about the persistent rumor of a lost manuscript that might hold the answers to some of these questions? Who knows what hellish consequences could be unleashed if there were others out there to wreak havoc on an innocent continent? Or at least Sweden.
And where does Daghar UKEA, CEO of the world’s largest manufacturer of build-it-yourself furniture and big box stores, fit into the picture?
And who is this Lars Arffssen, the author of this book? That may be a subject for the former investigative journalist and chick magnet, Mikael Blomberg, to look into. The answer could help him escape his current profession as a blogger and resurrect his image as a crusading journalist.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on September 15, 2011