Synopsis [c/o Barnes & Noble]: "A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.
It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.
It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.
It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives."
I absolutely adore crime novels. James Patterson is my go to guy when I want some cop mystery with a happy ending, or was until Stieg Larsson came along. There is tons of hype about the movie adaptation that was released on 20 December 2011 [starring the ever delightful Daniel Craig], but the book was definitely around first. And coincidently, so was the original Swedish version of the movie [which was amazing, btw].
After being translated from the original Swedish version, this novel received immediate adoration from the US book club population, and from me after it was recommended by a Boarder's representative. I will admit, I got pretty lost during the talk of Swedish financial issues, but the overall intrigue involving missing people, metaphorical skeletons in closets, and the bada** "girl with the dragon tattoo" definitely makes the money talk worth it. Following the steps of a well known but scandalized reporter, you are taken through unique love triangles, caught up in an old man's obsessions, and find out the truth despite all attempts. Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is. If you'd like to learn how it ends, you should probably follow up with the other two novels, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.