I'm not sure how to write about this series without my blog entry being reduced to a huge pile of superlatives, but let's just say I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books and that in spite of my very strict refusal to buy books over the past year or two I am seriously considering ordering the third from the UK rather than wait until the book is released here in May.
This is a modern series of mysteries featuring an investigative journalist called Mikael Blomkvist and a very young, brilliant woman who appears to have some form of high-functioning autism. Her name is Lisbeth Salander and she is a gifted hacker and investigator, tunneling her way into people's private lives on behalf of a Stockholm security company. Lisbeth is "The Girl" of the titles and is a truly fascinating and unique character.
I wish I had the spare time to get into a more detailed review of these books and what made them so riveting to read. Larsson has a quirky writing style which includes some potentially off-putting habits, like making detailed lists of what a character purchased in a shop or giving far too much technical detail about the computers they use. There's also a certain frustration in reading a book that contains frequent references to Swedish towns I have never heard of, without any real explanation of where they are because the author assumes that his reader is Swedish and knows what he's talking about. I honestly can't say these things bothered me much, and I think it's because Larsson so easily drew me into his world and his characters were so utterly believable and interesting.
Highly recommended. I am extremely eager to read book three.