Last night I finished the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. The books are extremely well written in a direct manner that thoughtfully describes the complicated nature of the characters, but not in a boringly introspective way. The main female character (Lisbeth Salander) is a stylized representation of the strength and vulnerability that are combined in many women, made more exotic by her being delicately built, but extremely violent and hostile. The main male character (Mikael Blomkvist) is a caring, and somewhat carefree, womanizer who loves women, and enjoys many of them, but is not misogynistic.
Underneath the espionage and intrigue is a reoccurring theme of violence against women. Yet through it all there is this character of Mikael Blomkvist, who is reckless with the hearts of the the women he carries on with (sometimes), but who is unfailingly loyal in his friendship to Lisbeth, who has pushed him as far away as possible because–unbeknown to Mikael–she fell in love with him and he was not capable of returning the love.
The writing style, the interactions between the characters, and the subject matter remind me of the Martin Beck Series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.