It's nighttime. Cold. No sound except for the chattering of cicadas and the voice of a GUARD making his report on a walky-talky. MAX TAYLOR barges past him, incapacitating more guards until he breaks out of a building and makes his way to a checkpoint barrier. He is about to pass the barrier when he's surrounded by men in white coats. They drag him back into the building. Taylor is a patient at a military institute for highly trained soldiers and spies who have lost their sanity during combat or secret missions; they're kept under sedation and observation until such time as they're deemed fit to return to active duty. The next morning, JOHN DANCE walks through a secure reception area, asking HENRY WALSH (the institute's chief administrator) about the patients. Dance is introduced as a psychiatrist charged with assessing the institute's viability and the patients' mental stability.
There is a new criminal mastermind at large (Professor Moriarty) and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil and lack of conscience may give him an advantage over the detective.
This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, as he investigates the disappearance of a weary patriarch's niece from 40 years ago.