Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson
Translated from the Swedish by: Reg Keeland
ISBN: 9781906694159, Quercus Books, 2009
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Millennium #2
Rating: A+

First Line: Lisbeth Salander pulled her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and squinted from beneath the brim of her sun hat.

A year has passed, and the Wennerstrom affair has finally calmed down. Mikael Blomkvist is no longer being hounded by the media, but he can't forget the young woman who saved his life: Lisbeth Salander. But Salander has seemingly vanished off the face of the earth, ignoring each and every attempt Blomkvist has made to contact her.

Things haven't remained quiet at Millennium magazine however. Journalist Dag Svensson and his girlfriend, Mia Johansson, have been researching the multi-billion kronor sex-trafficking industry in Sweden, and Millennium is going to run the expose and publish Svensson's book. Before all the facts have been double-checked, Svensson and Johansson are found brutally murdered in their apartment. The prime suspect? Lisbeth Salander. It's up to Blomkvist and the handful of other people who believe in this strange young woman to prove her innocence. As far as Salander is concerned, there's only one person she can rely on to do this: herself.

The first book in this series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was one of my Top Ten books last year. I had high hopes for this second book, and I wasn't disappointed. The police investigation into the double murder was stymied at every turn. The "expert witnesses" whose opinions are to be trusted, told the investigators what a menace to society Salander was. However, when they asked the same questions of the people who knew and worked with her, they got an entirely different picture of the woman. It took them valuable time to decide which people they should trust.

Once again, the person at the center of it all-- Lisbeth Salander-- is the most fascinating. As a young girl locked away in a psychiatric hospital, she was asked Why won't you talk to the doctors? To which Salander replied Because they don't listen to what I say. If you don't listen to what this young woman says, she's not going to bother with you. At all. You won't even be a blip on her radar. When I turned the page to see Part IV: Terminator Mode, I didn't bother to hide my grin. This could only mean that Salander was kicking into high gear. I loved seeing how Larsson tied the expose of the sex-trafficking industry and the double murder into Salander's own background, for this book does give insight into what makes Salander tick.

If you want to get to know one of the most fascinating characters in modern fiction, read Larsson's books. Lisbeth Salander will enter your bloodstream like the strongest of narcotics.


  1. Glad you liked it too Cathy. I do adore Lisbeth. We're due for No. 3 in the series in a couple of months and i can't wait :)

  2. A fine review and I agree 100 %: Salandrr is a very special newcomer in the world of crime.
    It is so sad that we will never see the last seven books that Larsson planned, but at least no three is a reasonable place to end.

  3. I only found out to day that Larsson passed away after book 4 was partially written! Such a shame - I love the books (read the first two so far)

  4. I've got to get to my copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so I can read this one!

  5. I also have the Dragon Tattoo book on my shelf and plan to read it soon. Keep your fingers crossed.

  6. I love love love how smart and addictive this series is. I've just read the first and will be on to the second soon. Glad you enjoyed!

  7. I've heard so many good things about Larsson. I can't wait to read the books!

  8. I love it when you love a book - your A+ books. It looks like I'm going to have to join the crowd and read Lasson's books.

  9. For some unknown reason I had not read the first one. I bought it in the airport in June and am hanging on to it till the 'right' time. I know - makes no sense. Will be buying this one too. Great review Cathy!

  10. Nice review!

    I'm glad that you liked it. I read the first book in this series and also had high hopes for this book. Getting a thumbs up from someone who read the first is fantastic - I will be buying the book during one of my weekly visits to the store.

  11. Bernadette--I'll probably get my copy from the UK...again! Some books I just don't want to wait for!

    Kerrie--So am I, but with all the folks who'd read it ahead of me I had a strong feeling that I'd like it.

    Dorte--Whenever I let myself think about it for any length of time, I feel cheated by Larsson's death. 99.9% of the time, I'm just thankful we get to read three of his books.

    Simey--Thanks for stopping by!

    Kathy--Yes, you do!

    Serena--butbutbut...if I keep my fingers crossed, I'm going to have a rather difficult time reading and typing blog posts, and..... ;)

    "BK"--Smart and addictive is an excellent way to describe this series.

    Rhapsody--What are you waiting for??? LOL

    Margot--I think you'll enjoy them.

    Luanne--I got my hands on books all the time knowing that I won't be reading them in the near future, but "when the time is right." Sometimes the time is right ten years later, and whaddaya know--there's the book!

    Cathy--I hope you enjoy it, too!

  12. I loved this one a whole lot too. It is hard waiting for the third one to come out in English.

  13. Jeanne--October 1! I have it pre-ordered through Book Depository. :)

  14. Is this the UK cover? I've only seen the cover that is reminiscent of GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO ... (which I have yet to read!)

  15. Dawn--Yes, it's the UK cover. I might turn into a pumpkin if I forced myself to wait for the US edition!

  16. I read only your last paragraph because I'm in the middle of listening to Dragon Tattoo right now. I'll likely get to this novel in the fall.

  17. Beth--By then I'll probably have my hands on the third in the series. Enjoy!


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