The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

In this, the second book of the millennium trilogy, the focus is very much in Lisbeth Salander, giving much of her traumatic history to explain the person that she has become. The first book in the trilogy is ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ and the third book is ‘The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest’.

Returning to Sweden after travelling the world using stolen money (See The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Lisbeth Salander discovers, through hacking Mikael Blomkvist’s computer, that he is working on a new major expose. The story on which Blomkvist is working will expose people involved in the illegal side of the sex industry including policemen, journalists and others. When Salander discovers a name from her past – Zala – in Blomkvist’s research, she goes to see colleagues of Blomkvist’s, Dag Svensson and Mia Johansson, to find out more. Within hours of her visit, Svensson and Johansson are murdered and the evidence implicates Salander in their murders. Soon after, Salander’s guardian, Nils Bjurman, is also found murdered.

The newspapers jump on the story portraying Salander as a mentally retarded, lesbian Satanist. Only Blomkvist and a small number of others even consider that Salander may be innocent and the portrayal of her in the papers untrue. Eventually others are swayed to Blomkvist’s point of view and a number of investigations begin to: find the real murderer, prove Salander’s innocence, find out about Zala, and give Salander the same rights that the rest of the population enjoy.

The story builds up to a finale that is absolutely gripping and truly gruesome.

This is another absolutely action packed book involving Russian secret agents, bikie gangs, secret police, sex slaves and more. It’s hard to imagine where Blomkvist and Salander would be without Salander’s almost magical hacking abilities.

At the end, the story was left up in the air – obviously to be carried on in the final book of the trilogy. I think that the three books of the trilogy should all be read – in order.


Book published 2006


See a full list of books by Stieg Larsson

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Larsson, Stieg, Series Fiction, Thriller

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