Landon Beckner

Landon Beckner of Helena ,age 15, achieved third place in the winter triathlon witch consists of biking, running, and skiing, despite competing against people two to three times older than him. Due to this great achievement he has qualified for the Olympic Winter Triathlon in Finland. However he will not be participating in that competition of running, biking and skiing. Prior to this he has never placed in something this prestigious, so it is a very big honor for him and his family. His father is his coach and was his inspiration to start doing winter triathlons. They have both been running, biking, and skiing practically since they were born. Although there are no requirements to enter this competition, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Even the winner took over an hour to complete the course. Mike Wolfe, from Helena, won first with a time of 1:10:20, and Landon took third with a time of 1:13:34 ,missing second place by just 3 seconds. Great job Landon and congratulations.

Landon Beckner

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Review

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an intense and riveting novel written by the late Swedish author Stieg Larson. Set in Sweden, Larson tells the story of a prominent and successful economics journalist and an introverted but genius young woman with a dark past. Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander become deeply involved in the case of a missing girl, which intertwines their very different lives. Warning: Spoiler Alert!

After Blomkvist is very publicly convicted of libel against a very prominent corporation, he takes a year-long sabbatical during which he is hired to investigate the disappearance of a 15- year- old girl who hasn’t been seen in nearly 40 years. His employer is Henrik Vanger, who is head of an established but aging Swedish corporation and who has been continuously aggrieved by the disappearance of his beloved great-niece Harriet. Blomkvist struggles to make any advances in the case and to wade through the complexities of the vicious Vanger family. He hires Salander as a research assistant based on her remarkable, albeit illegal, computer hacking skills. Working together the duo identifies a serial murderer who is a prominent figure in the Vanger family and also residing in the same small Swedish village where they are conducting their research. The serial murderer also happens to be the older brother of Harriet Vanger. When Blomkvist finds himself trapped in the torture chamber of this killer, he is resigned to face his death; luckily, Salander shows up just in time to save Mikael.

Though the research team confirms that Harriet was not murdered by her brother, they cannot locate her. Finally, the mystery is solved and Harriet is found safe and sound. Although Blomkvist and Salander have solved the case, their lives remain connected. Their continuing adventures can be discovered in the completion of the Millenium trilogy, including The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

In my opinion, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a very well written novel. The plot line is very suspenseful and always left me wondering what would happen next. The characters were also well developed and had believable and realistic personalities. The only part of this book I found confusing was Larson’s extensive descriptions of the layout of Stockholm and other areas of Sweden. I thought these descriptions were not necessary and did not add anything to my visualization of the setting. This detail aside, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a must-read for anyone interested in crime and mystery novels. If you read this book, be prepared to commit yourself to the entire series. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will leave any reader with a curiosity for what happens next.