In the book, a disgraced campaigning journalist (Mikael Blomkvist) is asked to investigate the disappearance of a rich magnate's favourite niece, who vanished almost 40 years before. The magnate is dying, and wants one last throw of the dice before he slips off this mortal coil.
So off Blomkvist trots, teaming up with researcher Lisbeth Salander (the multi-tattooed girl in the title) to uncover all sorts of unspeakable goings on in the family as he tries to solve the case.
It wasn't a bad book, but part of me couldn't get behind the main characters. Blomkvist is too much the "trendy left-wing reporter" and Salander is just weird. I heard on the radio that men are supposed to find her attractive in some way (she's self-reliant, head strong, multilingual, bright without being geeky, and interesting), but part of me felt she was damaged goods. To me she seemed more the sociopath than challenged. This is a shame because I think Larsson was going for "challenging."
In addition, I think that Larsson has a bit of a thing for the tattooed and pierced. The way he describes her, I got the sense that he was "working through his hang-ups" in places. I don't think I'm wrong about that, but if I am, I'm not wrong by much.
I will probably read more books in the series, but the second book had better be "tighter and more focused" than this one.