I don't even know where to begin. I so loved "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" that I couldn't wait for the second installment to be published in the US. I ordered a copy from Amazon UK and cracked it open the night that it arrived in the mail. This one definitely moved at a faster pace than the first book and is even better. Here we get the back story of Lisbeth Salander - who she really is and why she behaves as she does. The story is an exciting rollercoaster ride with so many twists and turns. I couldn't tear myself away from the book and finished it in three nights. It's a hefty book, 550 pages plus, but I would happily have read another 500. The final installment can't be published soon enough for me. Very, very highly recommend!
If you don't want to stay up waaaaay past bedtime, then don't pick up this book. I read this one first, bought it at the airport in Seattle, and was entranced the entire plane ride across the country. Stieg Larsson created a character that was original and captivating in Lisbeth. The storyline had many twists and turns, but not too many to make you give up. My only issue, being American, was all the Swedish namea. I had to go back and do some rereading to keep them all straight. It is well worth it though.
Steig Larsson does not disappoint with the second in the series about Lisbeth Salander. The saga that began in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo continues in this book. Much is revealed about Lisbeth's past and her character. Blomkvist is also a major presence in this book. This is another "can't put it down" cliff hanger of a book.
Stieg Larsson's second installment of the Millennium series, The Girl who Played with Fire, serves up more good Swedish thriller but in distinctly different vein. Whereas The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is set up with a very tangible mystery to tackle--what happened to Harriet Vanger?--Fire's structure leads you through Stockholm more unpredictably. While Tattoo isn't strictly necessary prior reading, it allows you to fully appreciate the title character Lisbeth Salander who more centrally drives this novel. It's a year or so after Tattoo, with Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander's lives moving on. Separately.
Just when you think nothing is happening -- why has Larsson resorted to listing IKEA furniture names like NYC craigslisters?! -- you realize that detailing Salander's current life was the slow drawing of a quiverful of action arrows which rain down at an impressive pace. What's mentioned in the blurb really starts about a third of the way in, but if you've grown to love the eccentric brilliant loner Salander, you would enjoy seeing her emerge out of Larsson's focus on the part-detached Casanova, part-relentless investigator Blomkvist. Lisbeth Salander's past is the missing link between the murders of Blomkvist's new friends working on a sex-trafficking-expose for Millennium, the murder of an attorney, and the manhunt for our anti-heroine. There are new characters, new intriguing side plots featuring lesbian Satanic gangsters, and a most dramatic ending that has me repeating more strenuously my earlier advice: Don't start the series until you get your hands on all three parts!
Oh my God, I would not have believed Larsson could top his first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I had said that book was absolutely brilliant - what other superlatives can I use for this sequel? This is mind-blowingly stunning - and I'm afraid of what the third book is like if he can actually top this, I won't have any words left to use! Millenium magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist has a new story - a young journalist has written an expose of the sex trade, and approached Millenium to have it published. When he and his girlfriend are killed, Blomkvist is appalled - and then shocked when the police investigation ties Lisbeth Salander to the murder weapon and the hunt is on for her. Blomkvist does not believe she is guilty, and sets out to investigate. What he finds is a much larger story than he ever imagined.
Salander is one of the most intriguing and fascinatingly ingenious characters I've ever come across. This thriller moves along at a breathless pace, twisting and turning until the reader is hopelessly lost and has no choice but to just come along for the ride - and what a ride it is! I had with difficulty put the book away at 1 am because I badly needed to sleep, but could not stop reading it the next day until I finished it.