Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson (Millenium Series #2)

In this follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, a genius hacker who has been declared incompetent by a Swedish court, finds herself at the center of a multiple homicide investigation. Her appointed guardian is found shot, along with two journalists, and Lisbeth's fingerprint is on the gun. The only link between Lisbeth and the journalist victims is her old pal Mikael Blomkvist. With Lisbeth in hiding working behind the scenes to figure out the mystery, Blomkvist tries to convince the police that they're barking up the wrong tree. The answer lies somewhere in a complex sex ring scandal involving an enigmatic man named Zala, and a bonecrushing giant whose only goal is to make sure Lisbeth doesn't make it to the truth. While I don't think you would necessarily need to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo first to enjoy this great thriller, I think I was immediately taken in by it because of my familiarity with the characters. Lisbeth's background is heartbreaking and her attempts to make it on her own, while consistently throwing away all efforts from help of the people who care about her, is both frustrating and tragic. The mystery itself takes a number of wild turns, while following up on a number of characters Larsson introduced in the first novel. The third and final book in the series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was apparently just published in the United States on Halloween - I may have to break my library borrowing policy and snap it up the next time I'm in an actual bookstore.

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