This is the millennium trilogy of books by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, each has been a best seller and made into block buster films.
I have just finished the last one - they are fantastic, the first introduces the main characters and joins them together and the next two are a continuation of each other. All three have threads that link and are so brilliantly written you just have to read them in as big a chunks as possible.
I have loved the story of Salander and Blomkvist and feel a sense of sadness and loss now that i have had to leave their lives, they had become so real to me. It must have been the same for the author, having written all three together he dropped the manuscripts to the publisher and died suddenly not long after. Never knowing the fame the books and their films would achieve, that's sad in itself.
I feel a bit cheated in a way - i have known and cared about these people, their relationships and lives. Now they are gone and i have no choice but to go back to a time before they existed. Am i better off for having known them ? I cant say (they were only fictional at the end of the day) but i can say that real friends that come and go do leave their prints on my life. Old school friends who stay in touch occasionally despite the years since we met, old church friends who still remember my children's birthdays just because they are mine, and friends who where there to support and comfort at some of the most crucial times in my life but have moved on for we actually have little in common.
I have new friends now - i realised today that they actually really like me too.! I am worthy to have friends and they value my small part in their lives - i feel really good this evening and rather than alone, i am surrounded by friends (not physically !) :o)