Iowa City Public Library's Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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Sep 08, 10

bookshelves: staff-picks-blog, john, fiction

Second in the trilogy that became a European sensation, this is a big improvement over the already excellent Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which included a long subplot about financial malfeasance that seemed to interest the author much more than it did me. That kind of baggage is missing here, leaving just the thriller.

Lisbeth Salander may be a little hard to swallow as a character. She has a photographic memory, world class computer skills, and, tho 4′ 11″ and 90 pounds, is a skilled boxer. She’s also likely autistic, clearly damaged psychologically, and has trouble with relationships. She’s better off in this book, having stolen a few billion Kroner last time out.

When a couple journalists about to expose a sex trafficking scandal are murdered, fingerprints implicate Salander, who vanishes. Publisher Mikael Blomkvist, one of the few people to believe Salander innocent, sets up an investigation that parallels the police’s. Violence and shocking revelations ensue. If author Stieg Larsson goes a little too far in his climax, thriller readers are used to superpeople doing impossible things. Think Jason Bourne or even Sherlock Holmes. This is a real page-turner, whetting the reader’s appetite for next year’s series finale, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. To irresponsibly speculate, that book might well involve, Salander’s twin, Camilla, who’s mentioned a couple times in this book, without making an appearance. --John

From ICPL Staff Picks Blog
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