Love this book. Can't wait to read the next one.
In THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, the second volume in the late Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, publisher Mikael Blomkvist and the police are conducting parallel investigations into three horrifying murders -- and their initial evidence points straight at young computer genius and social misfit Lisbeth Salander. Kalle Bastard Blomkvist (as Salander has begun referring to him) hasn't seen Salander in nearly two years, except for one night when he happened to witness a huge man attempting to kidnap her and both she and the attacker eluded him. He's bewildered about why she cut him off cold, but had accepted her decision -- until now. He doesn't believe Salander killed these victims. Well, at least not two of them. He has to contact her, find out how she's become embroiled in this, and help her. Salander, as usual, has her own ideas about who she'll see and when....
In THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Larsson partnered Blomkvist and Salander as they unraveled a twisted tale of corporate greed, Fascist connections, and perverse sex and violence. FIRE highlights another subject on which Larsson wanted to shine light, namely the underbelly of the sex trade, a swill of human misery being forcibly imposed for money and simple loathing of women. Blomkvist's magazine, Millennium, plans an issue devoted to the subject based on the interviews and reporting of a criminologist and a journalist, and there follows much in-house discussion of the lurid material and how it should be presented to the public. But the three murders turn the magazine and its people on their heads.
Meanwhile, Salander travels, changes her appearance, and matures in the early chapters of the 569-page book that covers four months in total and is told in four parts. Among her pursuits: attempting to proof Fermat's Last Theorem in a way Fermat himself might have done, furnishing her new abode, and keeping tabs on Bjurman (whom, recall, she memorably tattooed in DRAGON). Then, she disappears for quite a spell as the murder investigation gets cranking, and finally, she regains the spotlight as the book rushes headlong into a heart-stopping denouement.
The last book in this series is called THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS' NEST in its English translation. The entire trilogy has already been published in Swedish (naturally), French, and German. Larsson reportedly had planned a ten-volume series. He had written part of the fourth book and had outlined volumes five, six, and seven. Sadly, due to his early death, only the trilogy is complete and will, according to his father, be published. After reading FIRE, the thought creeps in that perhaps the trilogy will not provide closure, and that the reader could be left dangling, unsatisfied. That would be a crying shame because Salander and Blomkvist -- along with other continuing characters -- do burrow themselves deeply into the reader's (at least this reader's) affections. Fortunately, reviewers who have read, in the other aforementioned languages, the entire story arc, including the final novel, seem generally very satisfied. Some claim that the last book, also the longest, is a grand finale that answers all outstanding questions. A few are less effusive, stating that the last book can't meet the anticipatory heights set by the stunning, unusual first one.
This last criticism can be applied to the second book as well. FIRE does not pack quite the punch of uniqueness that DRAGON did. One can perhaps think of the movie trilogy THE MATRIX, MATRIX RELOADED, and THE MATRIX REVOLUTION as an analogy. The smash introductory film awed with its mind-bending perspective. The second and third passes were very solid, even amazing, partners, but they only reiterated the cutting-edge magic so novel in The MATRIX, building on it, not inventing something mind-blowingly fresh. Familiarity takes a bit of the bloom off the rose, but it certainly doesn't breed contempt in these instances. Larsson's FIRE lags a little during the mid-section in which criminal investigation procedure grinds along and the author belabors certain points, seeming to believe his readers novices at crime mysteries. But overall, FIRE accelerates the enthralling story of Lisbeth and Mikael with panache. One can't help thinking the world they inhabit is too slimy, too vicious, but Larsson was a man with many crusades and causes, and his trilogy vividly paints the harsh pictures of society that he hoped to reform. The Millennium Trilogy encompasses uncompromising social critique; prickling thrills; and curious, bittersweet romance. FIRE drew me like a moth, and I can't wait to get my hands on HORNET. 4.4 stars.
Unlike the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE sucked me in right from the start, and relentlessly demanded my attention until the bitter and exhausting end. Whereas I felt ambivalent about recommending the series after having just read the first book, this one nudges the series firmly into my like column.
Lisbeth Salander is, without a doubt, a remarkable character. Misunderstood and abused at a young age, this precocious but reticent woman goes about her life in a quietly defiant way, usurping expectations and social norms, that I am honestly in awe of. You dont exactly what to be her, per semore like, if you were like her, had her issues, then you would want to BE her. Does that make sense? Probably not. But thats the best I can explain it.
The majority of the book centers around the happenings of a tight very few days. Its almost incredible to think how 600 pages of a book could be devoted to, like, one week in these characters lives. However, Larsson is painfully meticulous about his details. Sifting through all the descriptions feels like you are a detective of a huge case, trying to determine which facts are relevant and which are just red herrings. His writing style, then, is rather appropriate considering the genre, and so I didnt mind the overwrittenness.
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE ends on such a nervewracking cliffhanger that you should be sure to have the third and final book by your side. This is very good, very engrossing escapist fiction. If, like me, you were skeptical about continuing on with the series after the end of the first book, dont worry. This will totally blow your mind and have you cancelling appointments left and right, just so you can stay in Lisbeths world.
After really enjoying the first book, I just sailed through this one with my nose in the book every free moment I had. I have never read a series in sequence, I always needed a bit of a break, but THIS series had you on the edge of your seat wondering what could possibly happen next! The plot twists, and impossible situations were riveting. I'm obviously going right into book 3. If you like adventure, and a strong female lead with lots of enigma, this is for you!
Excellent book. Great follow up to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo".
Contains violence, language and adult concepts.
A thriller I could not put down.
Wow to say this is an amazing book is an understatement.
The author never fails, we pick up where the dragon tattoo book ended and off we go on this wild ride again!!
I loved it and so will you.
This book picks up where The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ends. We discover who is Lisabeth's father and find that she is suspected of three murders. As a result much of her abnormal childhood and youth is exposed to the national press and she is the object of a nationwide manhunt. Even some of those she deems as friends become convinced that she is this cold-blooded killer. Mikael believes, however, that she is innocent and works to discover who is the real killer. Fortunately, Lisabeth's pension for privacy keeps her safe until she encounters her father and the actual killer. I truly enjoyed the read and was so glad that she survived to be featured in another novel.
Very enjoyable. Keeps you guessing, but it really leaves you hanging at the end.
Wonderful book. The characters take on aa life of their own. Great characterization . The action keeps you turning the pages until early the next morning. Nothing like any other book I have ever read. My only regret is that the author has died so there will be no other books.
I can see why this series made such a splash with the public. The second in the series was again a great read. It seemed a little boring for the middle third, probably because I was familiar with the characters. However the storyline and action are well written that it is easy to overlook the improbable coincidences throughout the book. Except for the fact that most of the characters are the same this is just as much fun to read as the first book in the series.
I read the first book in this series and could not get into it. I did finish it though. I started this one and could not get into it after a few pages and decided it wasn't worth forcing myself to finish it.
A wonderful wrap-up in the Lisbeth Salander Trilogy. Each page of the book moves you through a web of intense drama and keeps you glued to the story. Fans of Stieg Larsson will not be disappointed as many questions that were sparked by the first two books are finally answered.
Again, can't say enough about how absorbing I found these 3 books in the trilogy. Wish there were more. You will love Lisbeth Salander, a remarkable female character, totally independent, not trusting anyone, quirky, not the most friendly but talk about a survivor, wow. Having lived thru the most horrible adolescence, this little slip of a girl shows how strong a woman can be. I am listing all 3 in the trilogy this week. You won't be sorry unless you are looking for a short, predictable fast read.