Tuesday, October 21, 2008


In addition to Stieg Larsson winning the International Author of the Year at the ITV3 Crime & Thriller Awards, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has won the prestigious South African Exclusive Books Boeke Prize.

Previous winners have included The Book Thief, The Kite Runner, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Life of Pi and Atonement so it is in illustrious company.
The terribly sad thing about all this success is that Stieg Larsson died before the first of his trilogy was published.

And the American edition of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is getting rave reviews, (note the different US cover, of course!):

Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergmanmovie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller
New YorkTimes

`The biggest Swedish phenomenon since Abba’
People magazine`….
the coolest crime-fighting sidekick to come along in many years’Washington Post

And read what The Bookman had to say about this title in the Sunday Star Times and on this blog back in April of this year. And the review in full from The New York Times.


Anonymous said...

Hi Graham,
I entirely agree.This was my review for our newsletter.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Crime Fiction $37:99.
This debut novel was a sensation across Europe with millions of copies sold. It is a spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. Its about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian
uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. Its about Mikael Blomkvist, a
crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industry and an unexpected connection between themselves. Its a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.
I can’t remember enjoying a crime novel as much as I enjoyed this book.

I have also just finished "a Beautiful Place to Die" by Malla Nunn published by Macmillan.
Set in South Africa in the early 1950s it is a crime novel concerning the murder of an Afrikanner Police Captain.A stunning read.See if you can get a copy to review.
Here is my review for our next newsletter.

In the tiny South African town of Jacob's Rest, Detective Emmanuel Cooper is sent to investigate the murder of an Afrikaans police officer, Captain Willem Pretorius. Cooper, an "English" South African, is viewed with suspicion by both the Boer Afrikaaners and the dead man's prominent family, and his investigation is quickly taken over by Security Branch. But Cooper isn't interested in political expediency, or making friends in high places, and as he pursues his own inquiry, he discovers that Captain Pretorius had led a deadly double life. The more he digs, the more dangerous the investigation becomes. Cooper has secrets of his own. If he can survive long enough to learn the truth about Captain Pretorius, it might just save his life. In this riveting debut, Malla Nunn combines a thrilling, action-packed story with a thoughtful, complex portrayal of an unforgettable time and place and the human desires that drive us all, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Chapters & Verses, Timaru

Anonymous said...

In view of all these comments and positive reviews I'm off to buy this book tomorrow. Because I live in the US I am going to get the lesser cover version but I'm sure that will not spoil my enjoyment of reading what is obviously a great piece of crime fiction writing. Like you Bookman Beattie I too am sad the author didn't live to enjoy his success.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to learn how many visitors to your most informative blog live in the US?
Reading the previous comment by Ray Saggers of Chicago made me wonder about this. Also I e-mailed friends in Utica, NY and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to tell them about your blog when I came across it last week and they both already knew it and were regular visitors.
Is this something you might tell me? I live in Montana by the way.

Beattie's Book Blog said...

Very nice to hear from you Bob, and thanks for the kind comments.
Most weeks I enjoy about 5500-6000 hits although occasionally, if there is a particular book industry issue running hot,this can easily double.
Of this number about 15% are from the USA. It is the largest source of hits after NZ, then come the UK, Australia, Canada and India in that order.