Book1 in the "Millennium" trilogy
The late Stieg Larsson deserves all the accolades and rewards posthumously bestowed upon him for writing such an engaging and engrossing novel. In my humble opinion it is a literary accomplishment that brought hours of enjoyment and definitely lived up to its hype.
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering and her body was never found. Her beloved uncle, the powerful industrialist Henrik Vager, is convinced that she has been killed by a member of his dysfunctional family. In an attempt to prove his suspicions, he hires the disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, a tattooed computer hacker, with major issues of her own, to investigate.
In their search, the pair discover that Harriet's disappearance may be linked to other grotesque murders and that the Vanger clan will go to any means to keep their dark and appalling family secrets hidden....
The first part of the novel is dedicated to the characters and setting of the two main plots, some may find this tactic to be long and dragging but I found it to be a useful progress to understanding where the mystery was leading. The first plot evolves around Harriet Vanger disappearance and in the second the reader is plunged into a financial intrigue involving the head of a Swedish corporation.
The players are a cast of misfits brilliantly realised to be despicable and lacking ethical fortitude, some are asocial and smart, others complex and sympathetic and some are dramatic or totally disturbing. The character development is outstanding and the plots are so intense I found myself deeply engaged. This is a striking novel full of passion written with a prose that is bright and functional.