I am going to take the synopsis of the book from goodreads as I found the story to be a little bit confusing to explain. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch - and there's always a catch - is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstoon genius with a cache of authority issues.
The last few books I've read have been young adult, and in no patronising way, they haven't been the most challenging reads for me in a long time. Therefore, when I have this book thrust upon me it's a bit of a shock, what with the financial and law jargon that you are bombarded with for at least the first 50 - 100 pages of the book. This however, can be glanced over, you don't need to understand the majority of the technicalities as it isn't really about that - I glazed over them, just reading words and not understanding, and I understood the book 90% of the time and what was happening in the story. The jargon was a little bit frightening at first and I was worried that it would take over the book, as it is classed as an adult novel, but I found myself pleasantly surprised.
The plot has wonderful pacing for a long winded book, each part of the story has enough time spent on it to really get into it and feel connected with it. The beginning was an introduction, then came the research into the new project, then came the nitty gritty when things started coming together, and it got a final resolve* in the end. It was enthralling and I found myself trying to work out for myself what has happened to the girl that disappeared when we were given clues to guide us, I stared at these clues for a good 5 minutes sometimes trying to work out what they meant, and that is the sign of a good book - one where you have no idea and have so many different options as to what may have happened.
Larssons novel actually had suspects, and a lot of them at that - each of them had a different personality and a different motive and this made it even more wonderful to read as in your head you wonder whether a certain someone could have had anything to do with it. I loved the way you came to the conclusion it was one person and suddenly the perspective would change, and another suspect was in the firing line - it was just go go go and there was hardly any time to breath.
The main characters were well developed, and throughout the book you felt as though you knew them - or as much of them as they were willing to reveal. They were masterpieces in themselves and were a lot more complicated than some of the people I've read about. Characters should be complicated as people are complicated and aren't just love or hate but are a mixture of lots of different ingredients. There was no character in particular that was badly written or I wish had some extra layer to them as everything seemed masterfully mapped out and I have absolutely no problem with them whatsoever.
The only thing that disappointed me a little was the ending, I just feel as though there were a million other ways that it could have turned out, but he seemed to cop out at the very last moment and took the easy route. Everything else was so amazingly complicated and it just ended so simply. On another note, sometimes when I was reading I didn't get how they came to certain conclusions - now I don't know whether this is because I glazed over the words - but I just felt as though some but not all bits weren't explained properly in order to understand how they'd figured it out. These points, however, are minuscule in comparison to how amazing the rest of the novel was.
This was actually the first adult novel I've read this year and I absolutely adored it - it was a fast paced, action packed, thrill of a roller coaster that I would love to ride again in the next novel. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
*When I say final resolve I mean there's a conclusion, as I don't want to give anything away about what happens.