The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Journalist Mikael Blomqvist is hired by wealthy industrialist/financier, Henrik Vanger, to investigate the disappearance of his great-neice, Harriet Vanger, who suddenly went missing without a trace 40 years previously.
The police were unable to find Harriet, and Vanger has been obsessed with finding out what happened to her ever since.
Blomqvist eventually teams up with Lisbeth Salander, a surly, intensely private young woman with tattoos, piercings, a chip on her shoulder the size of a boulder, an unusual way of looking at things, and a genius for ferreting out information and hacking into computers.
This book has been an international phenomenon, and I can see why! It starts off a little slow, but picks up so quickly that before you know it, you're blazing along at Mach ll.
The characters are incredible as well - especially that of Lisbeth Salander, who, IMO, is one of the few truly unique characters in literature - an archetype comperable to Dickens' Uriah Heep. (Not that I'm suggesting that she is a villian.)
I generally choose books based primarily on a summary or synopsis of the story. For a long time I ignored this book, in spite of all the hype, because a summary just does not do it justice. I'm so very glad that I finally jumped on the bandwagon! The hype is very well-deserved.
I've already reserved the next book in the trilogy from the library.