Steig Larsson apparently really wanted to make some points with this trilogy about women and violence. This book opens with a quote about how eighteen percent of Sweedish women have been threatened by a man. "Wow", this American thought. "Sweden is SO safe!" Perhaps not what he was going for.
The story concerns disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist's investigation of the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a teenager who went missing 40 years ago. The Vanger family has money and power as well as many dark secrets. Along the way Blomkvist meets Lisbeth Salander, a goth girl with arguably autistic tendencies who is an ace investigator and computer hacker.
Although I found the beginning slow, and the translation annoying (for example Salander is described as "anorexic" rather than "very thin" or "anorexic looking" when two paragraphs later the reader is told she doesn't have an eating disorder.) I was eventually totally drawn in. Blomkvist leads a bit of an overly charmed life as far as women throwing themselves at him goes but Salander is a great character and the story itself is truly engaging. I'm reading the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, so stay tuned!