Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
Summary: Mikael Blomkvist is a financial reporter/editor of a financial magazine and is facing charges of libel. Defeated and full of disappointment he agrees to take on a freelance job for an older, wealthy industrialist who has been in search of his missing niece for forty years. At first Mikael believes there is no mystery to be solved and the whole "deal" is a waste of time...until he realizes he may be wrong. The intertwining story of Lisbeth Salander only adds more mystery to the plot. As cold and distant as she may seem there are reasons for her madness. The tattooed and pierced Lisbeth is a force to be reckoned with when you get in her way.
What I loved: One may think it's hard to read a book that was originally written in a different language but it really isn't. I loved that this book still has a lot of it's culture still in tact. Even though there are a ton of swedish words I didn't know or understand, you really didn't need to, but it enhanced the authenticity of the novel. I love the relationship between the main characters. I love Mikael's hard working, morally correct (for the most part) attitude about his journalism. But I also love Lisbeth's unorthodox, completely morally wrong, lack of work ethic attitude about her job as well. I love them together. I also like that the author played around with sexual relationships without a hint of judging. Maybe in Sweden having the whole "friends with benefits" thing is a more accepted practice than it is in the US. The action of the novel is another positive aspect to the book. There are times when I literally was hungry for the next sentence, next paragraph, next page. It's one you can't put down.
What I didn't love: It takes about 40 pages to get to all the things I loved about the book. He should have really rethought the first couple chapters because they are so boring and blah that I almost didn't even continue (even though I'm very glad I chose to continue). I wish Mikael's background was a little more played out in the novel. We got a good sense of how Lisbeth came to be how she is, I think Mikael should have been explored a little more. Other than those few things, nothing to complain about.
Grade: A!!! This book is fantastic! I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy fast paced thrillers/mysteries. Disclaimer though-there are some pretty graphic parts to the novel. There were a few times I was actually shocked at what was written. If you're okay with cussing, sex and graphic violence, then you will do fine.