What the many Stieg Larsson imitators don't understand is that it's all about Salander, and while Hand's Cass Neary is older and less moral, she's cut..Show More » from similar cloth. Her tattoo, Too Tough To Die, says it all. She's unabashedly selfish, and while you might think this would make her unsympathetic, for some reason it's a ton of fun. I love that whenever someone leaves her alone for a minute, she goes to look in their medicine cabinet. It doesn't even occur to her to be ashamed of it!
In this book, the second, after Generation Loss, Cass goes to Iceland and gets mixed up with creepy photograph collectors and Scandinavian black metal bands. She solves a couple of murders somehow (well, with the help of some chemical friends!). This is such a wonderfully written depiction of 1) the Icelandic setting and 2) the magical quality that makes a photograph great rather than just good. Spotting the latter is what Cass is so good at -- she has an eye. I guess it makes her a good detective, too. That and the fact that she's a magnet for trouble.
The narrator of this novel does it just right. Cass is a wisecracker, like Philip Marlowe, but to pull it off you can't try to sound too tough or smart alecky. So if you'd like to read about another Salander-like heroine, only with a mouth on her, look no further