When Dorrit Weger enters the Second Reserve Bank Unit, she knows she’s there to stay; not by choice, mind you.  She’s hit that magical age where, without children and loved ones in need of her, she’s become what has been considered “dispensable”.  While it’s true the dwelling is luxurious beyond what she’s ever obtained for herself, and while she’ll be surrounded by contemporaries who are also without spouses and children on the outside, she and those residing with her are to serve a purpose none of them care to serve.  As dispensable people they will be used for things such as drug testing and organ donation until their lives come to an end.  And life is short inside The Unit.  But somehow Dorrit manages to build relationships unlike any she ever had in the outside world.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, translated from the original Swedish by Marlaine Delargy, is set in the not-so-distant future and told in the voice of a true story weaver, making this author’s first novel eerily plausible.  Holmqvist leaves her readers pondering the conditions of modern society, balancing what is truly the value of life, and perhaps questioning whether one person deserves to live more than another.  If you have a book club hungry for deep discussion and some serious introspection, as well as a glimpse at the possible future, The Unit is the next book to get your hands on.  

While The Unit is Ninni Holmqvist’s debut novel, this Swedish author has previously published three short story collections.  The English translation of The Unit is published by Other Press and was released in June of this year.

Are you ready for the next blockbuster novel to hit the bookshelves? I do believe I’ve got it sitting right here. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo snagged my attention immediately. Not only is it an intense mystery with a depth of plot being compared to War and Peace (don’t worry – you won’t get lost in anything but fascination), this amazing book was originally written in Swedish. If you’ve spent much time at all on this blog, then you know I’m a sucker for foreign works. If you’re not one to pick up a translated book, Stieg Larsson is about to make a convert out of you.

In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo you’ve got a work that will rival any powerful thriller or mystery seen in recent years, if not longer. In fact, Larsson’s first novel has outsold The DaVinci Code and Harry Potter in France, and the entire trilogy (Millennium Trilogy) has been selling fast and furious throughout Europe. Its complex plot will have the most die-hard mystery fans scratching their heads, unable to outwit the author.

In the book, protagonist Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who’s recently been to jail for slander, finds himself with an offer to solve a wealthy family’s mystery – one of their own went missing over 30 years ago, and one family member is bound and determined to figure it out if it takes the last of his days. The biggest problem? Most of the suspects are members of his own twisted family. Blomkvist, with the help of social outcast Lisbeth Salander, take on the challenge in the hope of finding his own revenge in the process. What proceeds on the upcoming pages is a series of plot twists, turns, and unexpected stomach-droppers that will certainly see this book straight to the top of the Bestseller lists.

Just as fascinating is author Stieg Larsson himself. His own life sounds more like another thriller novel. Having worked for over 30 years fighting fascism and racial and religious intolerance through his journalistic work. He’s been quite a hero in his native Sweden, and across Europe as well. But shortly after presenting his trilogy of novels to his editor at the age of 50, Larsson unexpectedly died. Some call his death its own mystery due to the nature of his journalistic work. After all, he’d built up quite a list of dangerous enemies over the years. But close friends insist that Larsson’s 60-cigarette-a-day habit, along with his obsessively long work hours, certainly didn’t do anything positive for his health. Either way, a great crime writer was lost before his readers got a chance to discover him. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t even published in time for him to see it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (published in Sweden under the name “Män Som Hatar Kvinnor”) will be out in hardcover in America for the first time, debuting on September 16th, 2008, but I have an extra copy here for one very lucky carp(e) libris reviews reader. Enter to win by midnight, September 12, 2008, and the winner will receive the book on the big release date. How to win? Read on…

3 Ways to Win

1.) Leave a comment telling me about your mystery reading habits. Do you like mysteries and thrillers? What’s the best you’ve read lately? Have fun with your comment! Winners are randomly chosen, but if the name drawn doesn’t respond, I choose the next winner by comment.

2.) Email subscribers are entered into this and all future giveaways, for as long as their subscription is active. Simply place your email address in the little white box at the top of my sidebar on the right. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post. Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Friday, September 12, 2008, to enter.

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