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Fans hunt Larsson's quaint town -- but it is pure fiction

Fans of the late crime writer Stieg Larsson are getting lost, searching for the quaint Swedish town of Hedestad featured in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

The problem is, it does not exist.

But international readers of Larsson's best-selling Millennium crime trilogy could be excused for thinking otherwise, because most locations in the books are authentic.

They include the Kaffebar cafe in Stockholm, a favourite haunt of Larsson's fictional journalist Mikael Blomqvist, and the Kvarnen bar, where Larsson has tattooed computer hacker Lisbeth Salander spending evenings with her friends from the rock band Evil Fingers.

Both places are located on the trendy island of Sodermalm, a former working-class area with narrow streets where old wooden cottages are squeezed between 20th century stone houses.



MAPS

Eager Millennium fans can take the Stockholm City Museum's Larsson tour, an increasingly popular pastime for aficionados who visit the Swedish capital. Or they can venture out on their own, visiting the scenes of Blomqvist's and Salander's exploits with maps provided by the tourist office.

Starting with Blomqvist's small apartment in the brown 19th century building at 1 Bellmansgatan, Millennium fans can relive the books' plots in the real settings, while listening to the guide's detailed descriptions.

"It is great to identify the addresses and see what the buildings look like," said Roland Ojeda, a retired banker from San Francisco, California, who took the tour in June with his wife, Linda. "I think it brings it to life."

The tourist boom is set to get bigger as Larsson's books become Hollywood blockbusters. Just don't try to find Hedestad, though...

hnews@herald.ie


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