Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 (cbriii) #15 "The Girl Who Played With Fire" by Stieg Larsson

I wasn’t sure I even wanted to read the next two books in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a page turner for me, but I thought the plot was too heavy on the disturbing sexual violence. Larsson had written a relatively interesting mystery, but I wondered if the only reason it had received so much attention was the plethora of sexual violence. The book seemed to revel in it, and the fact that Lisbeth Salander was able to successfully fight back did not make it okay.
But The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009) was available on Kindle from my library when nothing else was, so I figured it was better than nothing. And I was pleasantly surprised. We learn much more about Lisbeth Salander in this book, and I found her character really fascinating. She is independent, lonely, brilliant, tiny, fierce, loyal, unethical, and powerful all at once. I felt incredibly sorry for her and admired her all at the same time.

This second story also involves Mikhail Blomkvist and yet another mystery. Lisbeth’s gaurdian as well as Blomkvist’s co-workers are murdered and there is a race to find the killers. Lisbeth Salander, not only a victim of her guardian from the previous book, also becomes a victim of the press, of the police, and of the social welfare system in Sweden. The murders are connected both with Lisbeth’s past as well as illegal sex trafficking into Sweden.

I’ve read complaints that Larsson takes forever to set up the story. I can agree with that. I didn’t think I could take any more hard-to-pronounce Swedish names being thrown at me. It was hard to keep everyone straight and it seemed to take forever to really get into the book. But it worked for me in the end. I have now gone from not sure I would finish the series, to eagerly awaiting the last book in the series.

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