I decided to read this after seeing the wonderful film made from the first in the series. The first half is a dull, plodding record of Lisbeth's homecoming: an entire chapter describes a day of shopping at IKEA. I thought it was some kind of product placement deal and I was thinking about quitting.
I'm glad I stayed with it. Once the murder investigation got under way, I was hooked. Despite some initial difficulty keeping all the characters' names straight, I started to see what all the fuss is about. Watching this latter day Pippi Longstocking, as she enacts vengeance for all the sins visited upon her and her small cadre of malcontents, is both thrilling and uplifting. Like Pippi, Lisbeth has a strong sense of self and a moral code that is usually at odds with the establishment. But unlike Pippi, who seemed satisfied with her solitary existence, Lisbeth seems to be searching for something-or someone. It made me a little sad. I'm hoping she'll find whatever it is she's searching for in the sequel.