Another Vote for Lisbeth SalanderReuben Moore read them both (which I was told to do, but now it is too late for me to do it in order - I can see that reading the second first could affect one's reaction to the first).
No, Lisbeth Salander is not for the faint of heart. The title for the first book, Män som hatar kvinnor, is Swedish for Men Who Hate Women. Perhaps the publisher wanted to tone down the title, if not the story, for the English-speaking audience. The Swedish title of the second book, Flickan som lekte med elden, was not changed in translation. However, late in that book, the author describes the embattled Salander as, "the woman who hated men who hate women,"* clearly a reference to the original title of the preceeding book. Make no mistake, Larsson's ultra-contemporary trilogy is all about their war.