I intended to read this book years ago and finally got to it. I won’t go into great detail. There are plenty of reviews available with so much detail you almost don’t need to read the book.
There are two plots. The story begins with Mikael Blomkvist’s conviction for libel for an article he wrote about billionaire businessman Wennerström. This plot line stays in the background until late in the book. Mikael is then hired by Vander, another rich man, to write a family history as a cover to find out what happened to his granddaughter, Harriet, who disappeared almost forty years earlier. This is the plot that consumes most of the book.
The book covers many subjects including business greed and crime, abuse of women, twisted family relationships, journalism ethics, Swedish Nazism, computer hacking, and more.
There are also two main characters: Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, (the girl with the dragon tattoo). Lisbeth doesn’t get involved with the investigation until about halfway through the story, but we follow what she is doing before that. Larsson gives us great detail about both of these very different characters.
I enjoyed the book from the beginning, even though the first half was rather slow with too much detail about clothes, meals, and day-to-day minutia. Mikael spends a lot of time on the family history and very little on the missing girl until way into the book.
The climax of the story occurs about three-quarters of the way through. The rest of the book ties up all the loose ends, including the first plot.
Larsson’s writing kept me interested from beginning to end.