Meg's Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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Sep 20, 10

bookshelves: mystery, scandinavia
Read in November, 2009

While I did enjoy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I wasn't overwhelmed by it, so under normal circumstances I don't think I would have picked up the second Millennium trilogy title right away. However, I reached the top of the library waiting list just as I was finishing the first book, and there's a long queue behind me, so I launched right into it.

I'm so glad I did. I think Larsson's forte was writing a longer story with a continuing cast of characters. In both novels, he spends a long time building up to his story, and I found it difficult to become involved. In Played with Fire, since the starring roles were already familiar, it was easier to get wrapped up in the story, even though the main plot was still relatively slow to start rolling.

The structure of the two novels is roughly similar, but in the second novel, the early account of the Wennerström affair is replaced by an investigation into Swedish sex trafficking, which for most readers is a slightly more interesting subject than corporate finance. Again there is a long list of potential suspects (the parallel to the widespread Vanger family is now the list of punters from the trafficking investigation), but Larsson manages this unwieldy character list much better this time around, developing only a smaller subset of those characters.

Overall, I felt that this was a much better book than the first, and this time I'm eager to pick up the last of the trilogy. Luckily, a friend warned me that this would happen, so I have my copy of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest ready and waiting on the shelf!
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