First of all, if you have not read the first two books of this trilogy, you will probably want to do so before reading this book. There are complex characters that you will really want to know the backgrounds of to be able to understand them the best. Or, at least go see the movies.
For the first hundred pages or so, the book brings the reader up to date on what has happened. There are even more characters to introduce and it can be cumbersome to understand and keep them all straight. But then once you get towards the end, say the last two hundred pages, the story picks up.
The conspiracies in this book are so complex that I was so sure I would have no clue what to make of it all. I am so not a history or political buff. This was a good read though. The main character, Lisbeth Salander is an abused woman and it seems as though everyone wants to see her destroyed. It’s so odd. Then you have Mikael Blomkvist who is a journalist and who is out to expose the conspiracies.
The second book leaves Lisbeth in the ICU with a gunshot wound to the head. The man responsible for the injury is literally right down the hall in his own room. Heck even the Swedish Secret Service is involved. I think the main theme of the trilogy is that women are equals.
Having read all three books, I can understand why they are so popular. Stieg Larsson is a real phenomenon. The books give hope for justice for young and abused women. You can sit there and get angry with the injustice and all that, but the truth is, the read is enjoyable. The characters are compelling and I found the trilogy well worth the money.