Normally I don't read stories about spies and corporate greed. I'm also wary of foreign books because sometimes they don't translate well. Larsson's trilogy managed to overcome my usual disinterest in the genre and translated exceptionally well.
I read the first book in this trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, after a member of my book club raved about it. The story lines and characters were well developed and interesting. I liked the second one, The Girl Who Played with Fire, even more because it more fully fleshed out the characters as well as providing a fascinating and well written story. This last in the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, is a more than fitting end to the set.
I'd read a negative review before getting this last book in the series that made me nervous about investing in the hardcover as soon as it came out. I HATE it when a book doesn't measure up in a series like this, especially when I've paid a lot for it. In some cases, it becomes blatantly obvious that an author has pushed to finish a commitment rather than create a good story. In the end, however, I felt this book was the best of the three--and I liked the first two a lot. The reviewer's summation, as it turned out, was flawed rather than the book. It contained information that was factually incorrect.
These books are not just episodic stories using the same characters. Each one builds on the last. The first two leave you wanting and needing additional information as should be expected of a trilogy. More in-depth answers come with each book. While the individual books certainly stand on their own, the second and third provide information that make you more fully understand and appreciate the first.
I love the characters Larsson has created. Throughout, Larsson uses these people to prove that sometimes what we might view as flaws in individuals are, in fact, more clearly defined as differences. He creates an understanding that these "flaws" often have positive influences not only for the individual, but for friends, family, acquaintances, and society as a whole.
I'm glad I went ahead and purchased the book as soon as it came out. It was well worth the price.