A crusading financial journalist has a fall from grace and finds himself writing the biography of an industrial magnate on a remote island. The magnate's true motives are soon revealed, and the journalist ends up (with the help of the anti-social hacker of the title) looking into the decades-old unsolved murder of a teenage girl.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a bracing, original debut novel by Stieg Larsson, who I was sorry to learn passed away shortly after completing what is called "The Millennium Trilogy," of which this is the first volume. Reading a lot of mysteries, I have recently come to appreciate the philosophical differences of the incredibly popular mystery novels of Sweden and Norway; though this one comes with a number of American-style shocks.
I felt The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo compared very favorably with another Scandinavian bestseller, Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast, one of the best reads I enjoyed last year. Larsson's novel is an early front-runner for my favorite novel of 2009.
I checked this one out from the Morrison-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana.