Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found and her beloved uncle is convinced she was murdered and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed and troubled yet resourceful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) to investigate.
When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger's are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.