Throughout the holiday season, we’re gathering books that make the perfect gifts for everyone on your list—from your mother and the teen in your life to your foodie friend and the coworker who loves Harry Potter. Need more ideas? Check out all of our amazing gift guides!
In the immortal words of Gore Vidal, “There ain’t no party like Stieg Larsson party, because a Stieg Larsson party don’t stop.” Okay, okay, dude never said that (to my knowledge, anyway). But I think every fan of Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy can agree with the sentiment. While I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool Larsson devotee, even I’ll cop to the series’ entrancing power. Just ask the poor woman at the laundromat who tried to free her laundry from the machine directly behind where I was sitting, oblivious, gape-jawed, and drooling, as I hit the final chapter. The only drawback to introducing a friend or family member to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? That moment when they remember that the trilogy is only, well, three books long—there’s nothing worse than series withdrawal to the diehard reader. So to save your loved ones from despair, why not gift them with something equally dark and delicious? Here are some picks for those looking to fill that Larsson-shaped hole on their bookshelf:
1. Accused, by Lisa Scottoline
If you aren’t immediately captivated by narrator lawyer Mary DiNunzio’s relationships with her sprawling Italian family and her tragic past, you’ll be hooked by the whodunnit at the center of this novel. Any fan of Dragon will love this one, powered forward by strong female characters.
2. The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes
I did not stop holding my breath throughout this entire novel. That’s right. I’m dead now. I am a ghost telling you that this story of a TIME-TRAVELING SERIAL KILLER and the plucky girl journalist who sets out to stop him is beyond riveting. Go forth. Gift it!
3. Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
This is a good divergent path to put any fiction fan on if you’d like to get them try some nonfiction on for size. Because it’s alllll about you, isn’t it? Kidding! Larson’s compelling history of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair and the serial killer who made the city his playground while innovation flourished around him is a surefire way to get your favorite reader hooked. Because nothing says ’tis the season like SO MANY MURDERS.
4. Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
I can’t even, you guys. Atwood has written some amazing books in her day, but this one here might be my favorite. It’s got some Dragon elements for sure: A mysterious edgy woman, a terrifying crime, and enough psychological drama to keep any good mental health care provider in business for life. Plus, Canada features prominently. Who doesn’t love Canada, right?
5. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
Any fan of Dragon’s ultra-violence should trace the stuff back to its source. Reader, may I introduce you to Young Alex; Young Alex may I introduce you to—PUT THAT DOWN IMMEDIATELY. Sorry, he gets murdery. Milk, anyone?
6. The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen
This is the first installment in the Department Q series by Adler-Olsen, a popular Danish crime author. These gripping books follow Denmark’s number one homicide detective as he struggles to pull his life back together after a fatal shooting took the lives of two of his colleagues and almost put him out of commission permanently.
7. Snow Angels, James Thompson
Ah, outsider fiction! This award-winning crime novel is penned by an American living abroad in Finland. It’s not only the start of a pretty sensational crime series, but it also features a body being discovered on a reindeer farm. Classic Christmas reading, am I right? I’m right.
What books would you recommend to a fan of The Millennium Trilogy?