The best books are always the ones that come out of left field and grab you by the collar and force you to sit down and devote all your free time to until you've turned the last page.
Then, and only then, can you catch your breath and truly appreciate the ride.
As you can judge by the title of this blog post, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is one of those books.
My brother recommended it to me last year, so, at his suggestion, I took it with me to jury duty.
Due to a glitch in the system, my name was never entered into the pool of potential jurors, so I sat and read until they released us.
And that's probably a good thing, because I was prepared to be held in contempt of court if that meant I could keep reading.
The book, which takes place in Sweden and is presented in the classic "closed-room"style made famous by so many other authors, follows the story of former reporter, Mikael Blomkvist, and superhacker, Lisbeth Salander, as they are hired by a Swedish industrialist to determine what happened to his great-niece, who disappeared decades ago.
What appears on the surface to be just another cold case, the books seeks to exploit some of the less-than-favorable attitudes about the treatment of women in this Nordic country. But if you think the story is just a thinly-veiled attempt to rail against current practices, you're dead wrong.
There is a depth to the main characters and story that you don't often get in your run-of-the-mill thrillers. And, rightfully so, since the late author, Stieg Larrson, had originally planned to write at least eight books in this series. Sadly, he died of a heart attack after he turned in the first manuscript.
The only drawback is that the first 60 pages, or so, can be kind of a bear to get through, what with the somewhat dry talk of the financial scandal that ultimately lands Blomkvist in jail.
If you can get through that (and I strongly suggest that you do) the rest of the book more than makes up for it.
This book as become my go-to book recommendation for anybody in search of a good read. If you're looking for one, you'd be hard-pressed to find something better.