Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson

Summary: Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing expose' on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, two people are brutally murdered and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, conviced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.
Summary from book, cover photo from barnesandnoble.com

My Review: After reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I was anxious to discover what Larsson had in store for his readers in this next trilogy installation. This book is every bit as suspenseful and intriguing as the first. The story is well-paced, interesting throughout with the last hundred pages impossible to tear away from.

Quite fitting, this novel addresses the one mystery that was left open ended in the first book. It deals primarily with the secrets of the lead female character, Lizabeth Salander, also known as the girl who played with fire. There was more depth brought to all the characters in this book, allowing the reader to develop more intimate relationships. New characters, some evil and some good, are also introduced.

While I enjoyed this book immensely, I do have one complaint. The author addresses his characters by their last name the majority of the time and these are Swedish names, many with the same beginning sounds, that I am unfamiliar with. Thus I had a difficult time keeping the secondary faces straight. Just when I thought I had it figured out a first name would pop up leaving me guessing all over again. Really this is a mild complaint considering the brilliance of this novel overall and by the end, when it really mattered, I had it all figured out.

This book closed a bit more open ended than I would have preferred but the main mystery came full circle and was brilliant. Stieg Larsson was one of those writers with creative energy to spare. Both books contain intricately woven plots packed full of drama and betrayal, power abuse and deceit. I am excited to pick up the final book in this trilogy, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and can only imagine where we will be lead to next.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars, not a book for sensitive readers- sex, violence, language

To Sum it up: A well-written sequel full of mystery and intrigue with compelling characters who will worm their way into you head every waking moment and occasionally into your dreams.

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