This is Larsson’s first of three books in the Millennium series. Tragically as you probably already know, journalist Larsson, unfortunately died suddenly and unexpectedly just after delivering the manuscripts to his publishers. He never got too see his work in print or see how popular his series became.
The book focus’s on three main characters, Henrik Vanger, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Vanger is the head of the multi million kronor Vanger Corporation. His great niece Harriet went missing over 30 years ago and he’s still obsessed with finding out what happened to her so he employ’s journalist Blomkvist to write the story of the Vanger family and also to secretly find out what happened to Harriet.
Blomkvist has just been found guilty of libel against financier Hans-Erik Wennerstrom after publishing an article about him in Millennium magazine where Blomkvist is a journalist. He’s been sentenced to 3 months in jail.
Also heavily involved in the story is Salander, a weird character but top class computer hacker, don’t get on the wrong side of her!
This is a heavy book to get into and I don’t mean weighty on the hands but a difficult read! Translated from Swedish to English, it’s difficult to comprehend at times and quite confusing with a character called Frode and some of the female characters being known as Froker Salander or Froker Berger which I’m assuming means Miss. Also the places were baffling with the main action being in a place called Hedeby and the (from what I can gather) next village being Hedestad.
It took 300 pages for the plot to grip me, I wanted to give up but other readers kept encouraging me saying it would pick up soon. It was getting to the point where I was dreading picking it up thinking ‘Here we go again’! 300 pages is a long time for a book to pick up and I wondered if other readers have given up on it. Another thing was the amount of characters, only a few main ones but a few too many minor ones that didn’t need to be in the story. Handily, there’s a family tree at the beginning of the book so it was easy enough to flip back to check who was who!
That being said, when it did finally get going it was fabulous, a clever plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. Plenty of little plots coming together to give it one big ‘kapow’ towards the end.
Told in the third person narrative, I totally identified with all the characters, all of them believable even if Salander is a bit odd but that gets explained later in the book but only slightly.
I have the second book (and third) on my ‘to be read’ pile, at the top but think I’ll put it a few books down as I think it would be a bit to much to read them all in one go!