The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

5060378Fiction — print. Translated from the Swedish. Vintage Books, 2010. 724 pgs. Borrowed from a friend.

I was afraid I would have to wait a long time to read the second installment in Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. It’s available on my mom’s iPad but I don’t have one myself here at school. Luckily, my new roommate has a copy of both the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the second book even though she hasn’t read either of them and was willing to let me borrow her copy so I could continue reading this fantastic, puzzle-like series.

In this novel, the journalist we were introduced to in the first book, Mikael Blomkvist, has decided to print an exposé on the sex trafficking trade running from the Baltics and Eastern Europe to Sweden’s doorstep written by a freelance journalist with help from his girlfriend who wrote about the same topic for her dissertation. He focuses on the johns; she focuses on the girls. Either way, the story promises to be just as explosive as the Wenerström affair and bring down big names in the police department, world of journalism, and the government. With weeks before publishing, the writer and his girlfriend are found died the very same night as Lisbeth Salander’s guardian; all leads point to her. Convinced of her innocence and desperate to find out who murdered his new friends, Blomkvist decides to start his own investigation into what happened parallel to that of the police while Salander is forced to confront her past as she too tries to figure out what happened.

The second book in the series certainly doesn’t disappoint, especially considering all the attention is focused on that of the most elusive and intriguing characters — Lisbeth Salander. And as the mystery of “who done it?” began I was almost just as convinced as the police that Salander had done it, except for the fact that I knew there was a third book and authors rarely make their main characters out to be the “bad guy”. But I guess that’s just a testament of how good Larsson is as mystery author. What’s more the little details are the key to solving (and following along with) the mystery force the reader to slow down and pay attention. Good for me because I have a tendency to want to read mysteries really fast so I can find out the who, what, how, and why.

A fantastic read that is sure to keep you up at night! And if I thought waiting for book two after reading book one would be hard, waiting for book three will be even harder because (according to printing of the first chapter in my copy) The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest picks up right after this one. October can’t come fast enough!

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