The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first novel from Stieg Larsson, a Swedish magazine editor who passed away before its publication. A runaway success in Swedish, this mystery novel doesn't adhere to the conventions of most English-language mysteries. The book tells the story of a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who is hired to investigate one prominent family's murky history, and he in turn hires a young girl to help him with the detective work.
That main thread is only one part of what's going on, though; Blomkvist is also caught up in a libel lawsuit stemming from his day job as a financial reporter. The editorial commentary on the world of high finance and the professional responsibility of financial journalists is an interesting but incongruous and not fully formed thread of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Overall, Larsson's debut novel is intriguing, and readers willing to stick with the unusual storylines will become absorbed in the mystery.