In any case, I saw a really good film yesterday, a film which most of you won't get to see for several months, and I am in a gloaty mood. Because Millennium aka 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is one of the best thrillers I have seen in a long time, just as the book it was adapted from absolutely stunned me - so much so that I've shelved reading the sequel for several
months for fear of being disappointed.
For those of you who haven't read Stig Larssen, the set up is this. Journalist Mikaele Blomkvist has been disgraced over an expose story that did not pan out - he was set up with forged documents - and faces a short jail sentence in a white collar jail. While he is waiting, he is hired by a dying tycoon, patriarach of a large and mostly ultra-right family, to find out what happened to the old man's niece, who disappeared back in the 1960s, and who was Blomkvist's baby sitter when he was little. What he does not know is that he has sparked the interest of the young woman researcher who checked his credentials for the tycoon's lawyers.
Lisbeth Salander is punky, pierced and driven - a hacker who is, under Swedish law, subjected to extended guardianship because of something she did when she was very young. She is someone in the way of whom you do not need to get, as various people find out.
Part of the strength of both book and film is that we believe in their intellectual partnership - I actually like the film more in some ways, because movie-Blomkvist is less of a babe magnet. In lots of ways, theirs is a Holmes-Watson relationship, if Holmes were a kick-ass crazy and Watson were a lot smarter too.
Why is it, by the way, that so many of the best thrillers deal with cold cases? Is it just that the writer can plausibly infodump an awful lot of material on the detective without their having to do massive amounts of legwork just to get started?
I confidently predict that Noomi Rapace, who plays Lisbeth, will be all over everyone's icons when the movie comes out. Just saying...