How I rate it: 4 of 5 stars
What I liked: The main protagonist Lisbeth Salander. She is intriguing, combative, and unyielding, something of a rage against the machine dynamic.
Plot Summary: A psychological thriller that follows a troubled girl-genius and an investigative report who has recently been discredited. Both find themselves at turning points in their lives, and they eventually find themselves tangled up in the murder mystery, long past, in a strange but wealthy family.
Significance: A critique of the financial sector. The original, Swedish title was “Men who Hate Women,” and the novel explores sexual abuse.
Quote of note: “I’ve had many enemies over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back.”
Note to readers: It’s not a bad read if you’re feeling angsty after the election. The characters are compelling but be prepared for long expositions about the financial sector. The book also has a good deal of explicit and brutal violence directed at women, so factor that in.
What I appreciated, as a writer: Character development. These were two, distinct and compelling characters, very different from one another, yet they both have a striking and uncompromising sense of integrity.
Notes on the Author: Stieg Larsson was a reporter, leftist, and former activist who wrote three volumes of The Millennium Trilogy, apparently as something to do to amuse himself and pass the time in the evenings after work. He then passed away shortly after he had begun to explore publication. In 2008, he was the second best-selling author in the world.