This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

This is the second novel within the Millennium Trilogy. I've got one more to go. I don't know if I can wait until Santa Claus brings it to me...

The novel continues with Lisbeth Salander, one of the baddest motherfuckers out there. In the previous novel, while we meet Lisbeth, the novel concentrates on Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who solves the disappearance of a woman with the help of Salander. This time, it's mainly Salander.

Continuing from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth is as heartbroken as a character like Lisbeth can be...but she is also filthy rich. She vanishes from Sweden and travels the world.

After saving a battered woman in Grenada by killing her abusive husband, Lisbeth returns to Sweden and builds her anonymous life. But unfortunately, she can't stay out of trouble and becomes involved in a triple murder. Not just involved, but is the main suspect and the hunt is on by the entire country for her.

The great thing about Larsson's story-telling is the build-up of the mystery of the crime. Lisbeth visits two of the victims and the next day, we learn that the people she met with are dead. We also learn that Bjurman, the rapist who was Lisbeth's guardian, is also dead...after Lisbeth had already decided she needed to pay him a visit.

For several chapters, we no longer 'hear' Lisbeth's side of the story. Instead, we read how the police get involved, how the magazine Millenium gets involved, Mikael, and Milton Security. All evidence points to Lisbeth but after reading so much about Lisbeth, it's just not easy to believe. The mystery continues and finally, Lisbeth enters the novel again.

Of course, she is innocent but does her own investigation. She manages to elude everyone. And the climactic end? Wow. It's like a Bruce Willis movie, only it's a 4'11" 90 pound soaking wet gal who plays that role.

I can see how Larsson's writing style could annoy the impatient reader. It may be in the translation too, but Larsson writes a lot of details. I love it. I find it endearing.

What is really cool is the geek factor: Lisbeth is a top-notch hacker and Larsson infuses a lot of techie jargon. Sure, it's a stretch sometimes but a stretch I love reading about.

I will hold off on watching any of the movies. I have a wonderful image of Lisbeth in my mind which didn't match up with the 'dragon tattoo' movie...which I did see. It managed to hose my image of Mikael but hopefully I can get it back in book three.

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