For my birthday Mooch and Sarah gifted me with the very last copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo left in Chicago. All other copies have been sold, borrowed or stolen to accompany summer vacationers, weary business travelers and college students returning for the fall semester. It seems like I must be the last man standing who has not read this book. I am exaggerating a little bit about receiving the last copy in Chicago. I am not exaggerating about the widespread interest this book has generated or how frequently I have encountered people reading it — particularly travelers. On my last trip to Los Angeles, I counted over thirty copies on board the plane. And I was flying Southwest. There are only 137 passenger seats on each of their planes. Almost one passenger in four was reading this book.

After retrieving the book from Whirl — who decided it was her prerogative to read my birthday present before I did — I’ve now joined the rest of the world in consuming this posthumously-published millennium trilogy of novels by Stieg Larsson. I do not often read crime novels. I think the last ones I may have read were a couple of Joe Kurtz novels from Dan Simmons. I’m only a handful of pages in as I write this and I’m already hooked.

Robert Dessaix of the Sydney Morning Herald described the story this way:

“An epic tale of serial murder and corporate trickery spanning several continents, the novel takes in complicated international financial fraud and the buried evil past of a wealthy Swedish industrial family.”

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