The English version was published in January 2009 and immediately became a number 1 bestseller. It received generally positive reviews from most of the major UK newspapers. Many reviewers agreed with Joan Smith at The Sunday Times that this novel was “even more gripping and astonishing than the first”. Carla McKay at the Daily Mail said that, like its predecessor, the book is "not just a thrilling read, but tackles head-on the kind of issues that Larsson himself railed against in society".
Most of the reviewers concentrated mainly on the character of Lisbeth Salander, with Mark Lawson at the Guardian saying that "the huge pleasure of these books is Salander, a fascinating creation with a complete and complex psychology." Boyd Tonkin in The Independent saying that "the spiky and sassy Lisbeth Salander – punkish wild child, traumatised survivor of the 'care' system, sexual adventurer and computer hacker of genius" was "the most original heroine to emerge in crime fiction for many years". Michiko Kakutani at The New York Times wrote that "Salander and Blomkvist, transcend their genre and insinuate themselves in the reader’s mind through their oddball individuality, their professional competence and, surprisingly, their emotional vulnerability."