Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jenn's Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)Summary: Lisbeth Salander is wanted for a triple murder. All three victims are connected to a trafficking exposé about to be published in Mikael Blomqvist’s magazine Millenium, and Lisbeth’s fingerprints are on the weapon.

Lisbeth vanishes to avoid capture by the justice. Mikael, not believing the police, is despairingly trying to clear her name, using all his resources and the staff of his magazine. During this process, Mikael discovers Lisbeth’s past, a terrible story of abuse and traumatizing experiences growing up in the Swedish care system.

When he eventually finds her, it’s only to discover that she is far more entangled in his initial investigation of the sex industry than he could ever imagine.

Review:  My first thought, "Oh my geyod, I can't believe Stieg Larsson left it there!" My next thought, "Thank goodness I have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest!"

The story picks up almost a year after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Lisbeth has severed all ties with Blomkvist and has been traveling around the world.  As she returns home, now a woman of leisure, she begins to asses her life and what she wants to do with it.  She doesn't want to go back to working at Milton Securities.  She also has come to the realization that she has no friends.  So Lisbeth attempts to reconnect with people in her past that she cares about, everyone but Blomkvist, that is.  But just when she begins to reach out, she is accused of a double homicide.  Now she needs people on her side, but will anyone come to her defense?

Once again, there is a ton of plot exposition before the story takes off.  This time, however, it's not tedious as we know the main players so well.  It isn't until the homicides, that the story elevates, and then it stalls a few times with several back stories on policemen and people at Milton security.  Larsson is a fanatic for details, though, and they do add much to the story, it's just, at times, I wish he could find a way to give them to us in smaller doses.  There is a bevy of new names to keep track of and it gets complicated, but it's worth it.

It's a heavy topic, but again Larsson treats it it with a clinical view so that it isn't overwhelming to the reader.  Larsson switches points of view more often in this book  However we get insight into the police investigation of Lisbeth which is kind of interesting.  The police go from assuming it's an open and shut case to being completely baffled.  We also finally get a look at Lisbeth's past, not what is stated in the reports, but what truly is, and may I say, it's no wonder that girl is the way she is.

I must warn you, where some complained that there was too much denouement in the last book, here there is next to none.  We reach a major climax resolution but the story is far from over.  I suggest you have the next book ready, because you're going to be dying to know what happens.  I know I am.

Final Take:   4.75/5



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