I was prompted to read this book because I became intrigued by the unusual way in which this book got published. The author had waited until all three books in the series had been written before submitting them. I'd never heard of anything like that before and, adding to the intrigue was the fact that he died shortly thereafter. So I picked up a paperback at the grocery after reading the inside back cover about him.
It took me awhile to get into this first book, but once I did, I was mesmerized. The characters are fascinating, and the story is compelling. When finished, I was thrilled to find book #2 in hard cover, and I didn't want it to end. It is even better, and the characters gain even more depth. When I finished book 2, I sat there saying, "Wow. Wow. Wow." My husband looked at me oddly, and I said, "What an ending!" I'm grateful Book #3 is due out fairly soon, but I know I'm going to be deeply saddened by the thought that it will be the last we will hear from this amazing writer.
To honor him and his achievement, I ordered a hard cover copy of book #1, so that eventually I will have all three in hard cover.
I hope before he died that he knew his books were going to be published - and that he has family who are able to see how his writing has impacted readers around the world. A thousand gold stars!
The first word that comes to mind when describing this book is BRILLIANT - absolutely brilliant. It starts out slow, and I struggled with the first hundred pages or so that introduce the main characters, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and title character Lisbeth Salander, the anti-social computer hacker. Blomkvist is hired by Henrik Vanger of the dynastic Vanger Corporation to look into the mysterious unsolved disappearance of his niece 40 years ago. He does not really expect to do any better than the police that have diligently and thoroughly investigated, but when an attempt is made at his life he realizes he has uncovered something - but how is it connected? The story really picks up the pace and becomes totally engrossing as we follow Mikael's and Lisbeth's separate paths that slowly intertwine, and the last two hundred pages are un-putdownable - and here I am at 1:30 in the morning writing a review. This is so different from your typical thriller, and the characters are wonderfully drawn and completely fascinating. This will definitely make my top 5 of the year!
This book is a total page turner and I couldn't put it down! I didn't think I would enjoy a locked room mystery anymore because so many authors just don't do it justice. Stieg Larsson has fooled me a couple of times throughout this book when I've tried to pinpoint who the real murderer was and the conclusion of this book was startling but satisfying.
I don't know much about Sweden but the novel is so very atmospheric and the author does a very good job explaining certain societal structures that I would otherwise not know.
I highly recommend this book but I must say that it really isn't for those who are easily squeamish.
The book started slowly for me but quickly gained momentum after the financial scandal section, I was not able to put it down for at least the next 300 pages. Larsson has built the suspense extremely well in the creepy episodes and then sewed it all up very well in the end while leaving the story open to a whole new mystery which will continue in his next book. The characters are believable and the plot interweaves criminal and financial intrigue to an intense and satisfying climax. One of the blurbs on the back of the book quotes that it is "a cross between Silence of the Lambs and Ingmar Bergman". I would add John Grisham into the mix as well.
Wow, really really good. If you like mystery this one doesn't disappoint. The translation from Swedish to English was very good. You feel like you are in Sweden. Couldn't put it down. A must read.