Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
May 2006
Format: Trade Paperback, 630 pages

First line: She lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed with a steel frame.

From the back cover: Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past. 

My thoughts: This is the second in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy and I devoured it! I had read the first book about 2 years ago, and so before finally starting this one, I decided to listen to book 1 just to refresh my memory of what had happened. I am so glad I did, especially since listening to it gave me the correct pronunciations of all the towns/places that come up - and each time I came across a Swedish name that had been in the first book, I kept hearing narrator Simon Vance's voice in my head!

This book is primarily about Salander and her past. It's been about a year since the events of "Dragon Tattoo" and in that time, the friendship between Salandar and Blomkvist has practically dissolved. Salandar travels the world with her new-found wealth and continues her obsession with becoming nearly invisible to the world-at-large. Meanwhile, Blomkvist is working with a couple on a book and articles about the sex-trafficking trade in Sweden. The expose could prove to be explosive and damning to many of those discussed in the trade, but what Blomkvist doesn't know is that all roads will end up leading back to Salandar and an incident that happened to her when she was 12 years old.

When the couple is found murdered, along with another interesting person, Blomkvist works with the police and their initial evidence points straight at Salander. Salander, who uses her hacking skills to find out what Blomkvist has been up to, finds out all that is going on and is able to use her skills to go underground, trying to elude the police. She is able to stay in contact with Blomkvist via her hacking and he works on proving her innocence while trying uncover how she became involved in the first place. She does her own version of sleuthing - all while staying hidden away - her skills never cease to amaze me!

This second installment keeps you on your toes and hooks you from the first page. I found myself glued to the book, just to see what would come up next. I am eager to begin the third book, but am already feeling a huge disappointment that there will not be the original 10 books Larsson had envisioned for this series. I hope the third one doesn't leave us hanging!

 (I purchased this book.)

Books in this series:

     1.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
              * book review
              * audio review 
     2. The Girl Who Played With Fire
     3. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest


  1. I started this book a while ago, but never finished it--I need to! I read the first book way back when, and also saw the film version.

    Excellent review!

  2. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =)

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  3. I loved this series and agree the audio is great to get the correct pronunciations!

  4. I also read the first one awhile ago, but I loved the Salander character. I recently saw the now I am ready to read this second one that is sitting on my bookcase staring at me!

    Thanks for your review.

  5. I have yet to read this series, not sure what I'm waiting for, lol! I've heard such good things about it.


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