Mystery within a mystery
It's the story of Mikael Blomkvist a financial expose journalist on the day he's convicted of slander against a major Swedish industrialist. He has to pay a hefty fine that may sink his magazine and he has 3 months to spend in jail. The story also follows Lisbeth Salander a socially awkward girl with lots of secrets, and an uncanny ability to research anyone and anything. Their intersection is one Henrik Vanager an aging Swedish industrialist who can't let go of his great-nieces disappearance and likely murder. Henrik asks Mikael to write a book on the Vanger family as a pretext for his one-last-ditch attempt to solve Harriet Vanger's murder...and he suspects a Vanger. As you meet the Vanger family, you realize that one's worse than the other, that anyone could have been guilty of murder for a variety of reasons. Through a bit of contrived circumstances, and some foreshadowing in Lisbeth's life, she comes to be Mikael's research assistant in hunting down the killer. You find the killer and then you find more and then you find the truth. The character development is slow, Lisbeth's story most intriguing, and Mikael an unwitting hero. If anyone read The Book of Air and Shadows, he reminded me of Jake Mishkin.
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