What am I, a glutton for punishment? I should have known after the second book in this series that the third would not be for me. I prefer my thrillers to be, um, thrilling. Taut. Suspenseful. As a journalist, it's entirely possible that Stieg Larsson was first-rate, but as a crafter of fiction, he leaves much to be desired. The book is *filled* with back story. Boring, *boring* backstory. Long disquisitions on the administrative structure of the police. Another loooong section on the Swedish constitution. *Yawn!* In the end, the thing that makes a good newspaper article - exposition - makes for terrible fiction. He traps his best character, Lisbeth Salander, in the hospital and then it's all hacking. Which may be a good device for getting information into other character's hands, but distinctly lacks drama. Everything in this book, actually, lacks drama. And then, the needless details about the meals eaten (at least Billy's Pan Pizza, a staple of the second book was only mentioned once), and the specific streets walked down, or walked up, or circled, or—okay, I think you get the idea. It's also annoyingly transparent that all the good guys are going to be okay. And really, are middle aged, flubby, self-absorbed investigative journalists so attractive? Are sexy ladies continually throwing themselves at, and falling hopelessly in love with these journalists? Only according to 50ish, investigative journalist Stieg Larsson. Surprise.
At least something funny came out of this morass: