I have to admit...I'm not sure why people LOVE this series so much.
But...I'm also not sure why so many people also seem to hate it.
I'm inclined to believe that there was definitely a lot lost in translation (literally, as these books were originally published in Swedish), but I can't imagine that the translator is the one who inserted the extremely unnecessary amount of description and the many many pointless characters that exist in these novels.
I'm reviewing this trilogy as a series because I honestly believe that you'll like the first book - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - but not as much as you should, if that is the only one you ever read. I do see why Larsson's books are so popular. To be honest, if you're a big mystery novel person (and can deal with some pretty graphic scenes) you'll probably love them. For my part, I'd give the books standalone ratings of 3 stars, but the series as a whole is more like 3.5 stars. Why? Because the way everything rounds out in the end just makes reading all three novels (Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) *so* much more worth it :)
Quotes from Dragon Tattoo
"The rules for social interaction in school had always baffled her. She minded her own business and did not interfere with what anyone around her did. Yet there was always someone who absolutely would not leave her in peace."
"'Everyone has to have something to believe in.'"
"What she had realised was that love was that moment when your heart was about to burst."
Quotes from Hornet's Nest
"'...I'm a workout fanatic. If you work out you can eat whatever you want. Within reason.'"