Stieg Larsson deftly blends the narratives of the super-rich, struggling sociological outsiders, midlevel power players, abusers, and victims. Its backdrop in Sweden, although obvious from the names of people and places, actually had almost no impact on the accessibility of the story for me as an American. I instantly related to the themes of power, relationship, justice, identity, and discovery.
However, reader beware. This is not a book for people with weak hearts or sensitive minds. Violence and sexual abuse are major factors in the story.
On the other hand, without giving away the plot, I always love it when hope emerges out of the ashes of the pain. Larson beautifully plumbs the depths of human pain, yet he also follows through to hope without the slightest bit of sentimental cheese. Well done, sir. Well done.