- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an almost-perfect mix: one part action thriller, one part character study, one part modern Swedish history. Delicious!
- The Girl Who Played With Fire is almost pure action thriller. It's a roller-coaster adventure ride, and will leave you completely breathless. If you like Thomas Harris, Jeffrey Deaver, authors like that, you'll be enthralled.
- The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest swings the needle back the other way: it's about three-quarters modern Swedish history (politics, journalism, public policy, etc.) and about one-quarter action thriller. Moreover, the action thriller part of the book is a lot less action, and a lot more things like high-tech computer espionage, psychological maneuvering, etc. Thankfully, the dry parts occupy the first half of Hornet's Nest, and the second half moves along quite nicely; I suspect most readers, having experienced books one and two, will give Larsson the courtesy of being patient while he addresses things that must have felt important to him (I know I did).
The nice thing about the books is that you'll probably know within the first 50 pages of Dragon Tattoo whether the books are your thing or not.