I hadn't realized that this book is the sequel to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If I'd read/listened to the latter I might not have found that for the first five or six chapters I was confused by the complexity of the narrative as it moved between different countries, introduced many characters and switched back and forth in time. Once the story settled in Sweden the sheer number of characters with unfamiliar sounding names and locations I didn't recognize continued to make the story a taxing one to follow, however the main thrust of the narrative kept me listening and the outstanding performing skills of Saul Reichlin helps greatly in identifying who is whom. I knew in advance that this reader is one of the best from his work on David Hewson's Rome series.
These free, monthly podcasts are one of the extra good things about having an Audible subscription as you get interviews with authors and also first chapters read from a book or books enabling one to get a good indication if an author or particular book appeals. This particular podcast was a bumper edition. A feast of first chapters from classic books of recent decades with authors such as Saul Bellow, John Irving, Betty Freidland, Randy Shilts to name but a few. What I found so useful, as well as entertaining, was I was able to decide not only which authors' book I would look out for, but also those I didn't fancy.
I hadn't realized that this book was the first book in the Millennium trilogy by the author and started by listening to his second book (The Girl Who Played with Fire), which I enjoyed but was a bit confused by for the first couple of hours of the recording. Had I listened to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I would have fared much better as it introduces all the characters and describes in detail events that are alluded to in the second book. This first book in the series is an exciting story and I was gripped from the start and kept wanting to return to the recording to find out what happened next, even though I'd listened to book two and had some inkling of what had happened earlier. Although there are many characters and several threads in the narrative I was able to keep track of who was whom and where they fitted in to the story. This was greatly helped by the incomparably fine narrator, Saul Reichlin, who gives life to the characters by altering his voice so that you believe that you are listening as a man in his 80s or a teenage girl. I can't wait for book three.