For the record, I do NOT recommend these books. There are too many highly offensive scenes that you will judge me for. Don't read them.
However, if you should happen to find yourself with these books open in front of you, my advice is that you first make sure that there is plenty of food in the house and the children are in a safe place, because you won't be able to put them down until you've finished.
(And, if you can get past some of the offensive scenes you will find yourself truly offended by some of the subjects Larson brings to the surface- such as the way that society can abuse the most broken and voiceless among us).
It has "Made for Hollywood" written all over it, they are really dark and gruesome in places, and the second book seemed a little raw and not quite as tightly woven as the first. But the suspense in both books keeps you awake at night and the tattooed heroine Lisbeth Salander is a fascinating, endearing character despite her painful personality flaws.
I think my favorite part about the books is how much coffee they drink. Every single scene begins with somebody brewing coffee, pouring coffee, talking over coffee . . . it is such an appealing detail. My coffee consumption increased drastically during the reading of these books. It's too bad that the author, Steig Larson, died before the manuscripts were published. (But don't read them).