Larsson's novel, the first of a "Millennium" trilogy he left behind, would nonetheless soar onto best-seller lists in America, as it has in much of the world. It remains a best seller 18 months later, even as the first of what may be two movie adaptations opens this weekend. In the many dissections of this literary phenomenon, much has been said about Larsson's striking title character, a brilliant, if antisocial, 24-year-old female computer hacker who bonds with a middle-age male journalist to crack a chain of horrific crimes against Swedish women.
Strangely, far less attention has been paid to the equally prominent villains in this novel -- whether they literally commit murder or not. They are, without exception, bankers and industrialists. At the time of its American release, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was far more topical than most anyone could imagine.