Lisbeth Salander is the girl and she steals private information, she’s a 90-pound anorexic looking hacker. One of many descriptions of this loony lady:
"A black T-shirt with a picture on it of E.T. with fangs, and the words I AM ALSO AN ALIEN. She had on a black skirt that was frayed at the hem, a worn-out black, mid-length leather jacket, rivet belt, heavy Doc Marten boots, and horizontally striped, green-and-red knee socks. She had put on make-up in a colour scheme that indicated she might be colour blind. In other words, she was exceptionally decked out."
The main story is of an investigative financial reporter that has been convicted of libel (I hate that word). His goal is revenge and understanding, but he can’t get that until he solves a 40 year-old murder/disappearance mystery. Salander helps him in last half, but she has her own story to tell.
She is really fucking nuts, but a sympathetic character that you love and wish you could pick her up, put her in your pocket, and take care of her. But she doesn’t need or want you. Which makes you want to help her more.
I read this for my Mom. It’s a page-turner after about 65 pages of set up. I’m surprised it is so popular considering the slow start. I loved the Swedish towns and supreme frigidness of the climate and characters. The proper nouns are fun to fumble through pronouncing. I’m not really saying you should go out and read this though. It’s pulp, with intrigue. Mystery novels are a hard sell for me, the last mystery I read was Motherless Brooklyn and as much as I suggest you read Lethem, Larsson is Swedish and I’m not. I hate being monolingual more and more with each translated book I read.