Born in Skelleftehamn in 1954, near the northern Swedish city of Skellefteå, and raised by his grandparents, Stieg is best known for his Millennium trilogy of crime novels but he also held an interest in Science Fiction.
A former Editor in chief of the magazine Expo, and a leading expert in antidemocratic right-wing extremists and Nazi organisations, he was involved in the struggle against racism and fascist extremism, occasionally holding lectures for Scotland Yard.
During the last 15 years of his life, he and his companion Eva Gabrielsson, whom he met at 18 years of age at an anti-Vietnam War meeting in Umeå, lived under constant threat from right-wing violence.
Larsson died from a heart attack in 2004, his fourth book unfinished and his first three unpublished. He’d penned the books for his own pleasure, writing them after work, and had made no attempt to get them published until shortly before his death.
The first to be published posthumously was done so in 2005 as Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor – literally – Men who hate women. It was titled for the English-language market as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and published in the UK in 2008. The eponymous character Lisbeth Salander became one of the most intriguing in crime fiction history. When Larsson was 15 years old, he witnessed the gang-raping a young girl, which may well have led to an abhorrence of violence and abuse against women that, in turn, had Salander as the victim of horrendous sexual abuse.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was awarded the Glass Key award as the best Nordic crime novel in 2005.
Larsson’s second novel, Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire), received the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2006, and was published in the UK in 2009.
The third in the Millennium series, Luftslottet som sprängdes ("The air castle that was blown up"), published in English as The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, was published in the UK in 2009, and the US in 2010.
The trilogy has sold more than 25 million copies.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there's always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.
'A publishing sensation who seemingly came from nowhere ... crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson's in the same breath'
The Girl who Played with Fire
Computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist are back, on the trail of a sinister and shadowy criminal enterprise. Only this time, Lisbeth must face her own demons if she's to survive.
The Girl Who Played with Fire is a thrilling read with more twists and pace than its predecessor.
Murder, betrayal, and deceit, Larrson's Blomkvist fights the same fights his created did in real life: endemic establishment corruption and the exploitation of women.
'The Girl Who Played with Fire is that rare thing - a sequel that is even better than the book that went before … it is to be read in great hungry chunks
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Lisbeth Salander — the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels — lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.
Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.
'Fans will not be disappointed; this another roller-coaster ride that keeps you reading far too late into the night'
Andrew Neather, Evening Standard