Wednesday, July 21, 2010

THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE by Stieg Larsson


Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back but not together. Let's face it. Blomkvist is a cad, and Lisbeth is perplexed to realize that she's in love with him. She travels for a year and then goes into hiding. She becomes even more scarce when her fingerprints are found on a murder weapon. We know, of course, never to count her out, as she's the weirdest heroine since Pippi Longstocking, another Swede whose name keeps popping up. This series ranks right up there with Harry Potter, just as improbable, but more adult. I enjoyed this book even more than the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, partly because the characters were a little easier to keep track of, but mostly because it's just a better story—an action-packed murder mystery with Lisbeth and her friends Miriam and Paolo kicking some butt. As the cops set their sights on Lisbeth as a suspect, Blomkvist launches his own investigation, not just to exonerate Lisbeth, but also to find the real killers of his two colleagues Mia and Dag. He also knows that there are people in high places with motives, since they were about to be exposed for sex trafficking. Along the way we discover some details of Lisbeth's past, including why she was declared incompetent by the courts and assigned to that scumbag guardian Bjurman. I was on the edge of my seat during the finale, with Blomkvist to the rescue, periodically checking his watch, as his train is delayed. Then he gets lost, becoming more harried and squandering precious minutes. There are several loose ends that I'm looking forward to seeing tidied up in the third book, beyond just the bad guys getting their due. I'm particularly interested to see what happens with Erika Berger, Blomkvist's married lover and business partner, as she plans to accept an editor-in-chief job at another magazine. Will this cause a rift and free up Blomkvist to have a real relationship with Lisbeth? Why am I rooting for 20-something and a 40-something to get together?

3 comments:

leojn said...

Good synopsis. Don't read this if you haven't read the book........






I had accepted that Lisbeth was dead and taken it as a very powerful statement from Stieg. But then was thrilled nonetheless when she miraculously survives. He certainly keeps one on the edge of their seat in this one. Quite a gal that Salander. Who else would decide to finish her business against a monstrous giant with three bullets in her after digging herself out of a grave? But then she did mention to the giant, when death was most imminent, that she would kill him. And she is a girl ow her word.

Lisbeth is a very modern and interesting heroine. It is sad that Stieg is gone.

Amber Stults said...

I agree this one was better than the first one. I've been slowly reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest since I know there's no plans to release the 4th book.

Patti's Pages said...

I'm sure the 3rd book will leave us all howling for more. Then I'll have to get my Lisbeth fix from the movies.