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.