Mikael Blomkvist is a financial journalist that specializes in uncovering the truth about companies. He is partial owner of a magazine called Millenium, but is sued for libel when he goes after a Swedish business tycoon and cannot prove some of his claims. With his career in ruins, Blomkvist gets a strange offer from another CEO of a large company, Henrik Vanger. Blomkvist heads to the middle of nowhere Sweden to be asked to solve a 40 year old murder mystery. Vanger's niece disappeared 40 years ago during a family function and Henrik wants Blomkvist to find out which one of his family members murdered his niece.
Solving the mystery introduces Blomkvist to the incredibly large, quite odd Vanger family. The family has many skeletons in their closet and not all family members are happy that Blomkvist is there.
We also learn about Lisbeth Salander, a troubled young woman with an extraordinary mind. She is a great investigator and incredibly details oriented, yet is not entrusted to her own finances or her own legal representation. She's brought in to the investigation and an unlikely friendship is created.
After getting over the confusion of the number of characters in this book and trying to keep the entire Vanger family straight, I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit of a chance of pace where the person investigating the mystery was not a cop and approached the crime differently. Also, since the crime happened so long ago, this also added a layer of complexity. This becomes quite the page turner.
There are two more books in the series, which I suppose is why the ending wasn't all that satisfying. While the mysteries were solved, the relationships between the characters were left quite open and left me wondering what was going to happen. I will be looking out for the next two books in the series as I'm interested to see how the characters continue on.
First Line: "It happened every year, was almost a ritual."