In the first book, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander investigate a murder on an isolated island. In the second, they examine the Sweedish sex trade. Here, they are dealing with the fallout from their last investigation. Salander has been shot in the head by a hired killer, and looks like she's going to be charged and convicted for 3 murders herself, if Blomkvist, and her other friends, don't do some investigating on her behalf.
This was probably the best book in the series. It rattles along at a fair old rate, and for the first time, I get the sense that the reader will actually care about what's happening to the main female protagonist (I just got infuriated by her (and what happened to her) in the first 2 books, she's a sort of a projection of a male something in them).
The irritating thing about the book is that, thus far, Salander has had a somewhat autistic attitude to her feelings. She's certainly not someone who could express them. In this book, she has feelings breaking out all over the place. That might be why people might like her better, I found that somewhat hard to believe. Can a shot to the head really change someone that dramatically for the better? I don't think so.