The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
The first genre I ever got into was Mystery (Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys). The Millennium trilogy is also a LGBTQ mystery/thriller series, so I was admittedly smitten before I even read the books.
Lisbeth Salander is smart, blunt, super hot, and bisexual – totally kick ass. She’s also antisocial, standoffish, and downright violent, and I think it was wise of Larsson to not use her for a protagonist. Mikael, our protagonist, is mellower and patient. He as a calming influence on Salander and the two eventually trust each other with their lives. He was a smart choice to hold the main point of view, and even though I love gritty characters and would have embraced Salander as a protagonist, it was a joy to see her from others’ perspectives. That’s when she truly comes alive for me.
The plot was incredibly convoluted and detailed. I could never anticipate what was going to happen from one moment to the next. The suspense was killer. One of the things I like the most about thrillers is that the antagonists are diabolical and deeply fucked up. This series doesn’t disappoint.
I heard that assault and battery in Sweden was rare, especially against women, so it’s sort of an irony that Larsson created this incredible world where misogyny and extreme violence against women was so prevalent. Good job, dude.