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The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson's Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin

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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  2,484 ratings  ·  258 reviews
The author of the Millennium novels laid out the clues. Now a journalist is following them.

When Stieg Larsson died, the author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had been working on a true mystery that out-twisted his Millennium novels: the assassination on February 28, 1986, of Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister. It was the first time in history that a head of state
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Kindle Edition, 495 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Amazon Crossing (first published November 2nd 2018)
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Maria Rose I am not an investigative reporter but the research methods used are quite accurate methods used pre-internet years, when one would have read actual…moreI am not an investigative reporter but the research methods used are quite accurate methods used pre-internet years, when one would have read actual print information (books, newspapers, etc). Plus interviews were done in person or partially verbally over the landline phone. There's no fiction described in the book in those methods. That's a very old-school method that really works even today with internet use as some things can't be digitized. (less)

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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
”Stieg Larsson’s three books—known as the Millennium Trilogy or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series—have sold more than eighty million copies, but his greatest achievement wasn’t writing thrillers. He devoted his entire adult life to fighting right-wing extremism.”

There was a lot of speculation after Stieg Larsson died at the tender age of 50 that one of the numerous right-wing groups he had been investigating had murdered him. Maybe even the very people who assassinated Swedish Prime
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Barbara
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it

4.5 stars

This work of creative non-fiction by Jan Stocklassa offers a comprehensive overview of the murder of Olof Palme.


Author Jan Stocklassa


Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme

*****

On February 28, 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on the corner of Sveavägen and Tunnelgaten in Stockholm.


Corner of Sveavägen and Tunnelgaten in Stockholm

After dismissing his security guards for the evening, Palme and his wife Lisbeth went to the movies, then decided to walk home.


Olof Palme and
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Matt
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this unique book—mixing true crime, political assassination, espionage, and journal entries—Jan Stocklassa recounts events surrounding one of Sweden’s most baffling cold cases. On the evening of February 28th, 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was out with his wife, when he was shot in the back and died. The assailant fled the scene and police were forced to cobble together eyewitness accounts, though they remained quite flimsy. Struggling journalist Stieg Larsson took up the case when ...more
Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
This is a tremendous true crime novel, based on the meticulous and detailed research made by the author, who had access to Stieg Larsson's archive from his years as publisher of the infamous "Expo" magazine. We all know Stieg Larsson as the man who was behind the publishing phenomenon of the "Millenium" trilogy, but only a few are aware of his work as a journalist which was dedicated to unmasking the extreme right in Sweden that gradually gained power from the beginning of the 1980s. Larsson ...more
Nina
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Good heavens, this was boring! Boring, boring, boring. The premise sounded good. The author combined his research with years of research left behind by the famous novelist Stieg Larsson in regards to the unsolved assassination of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986. The investigation was hopelessly botched by the police. The author provides too much tedious detail, which shows all his and Larsson's intense efforts, but you know what? It's still unsolved, so the book is rather pointless ...more
Louise
Jan Stocklassa consulted Eva Gabrielsson, Steig Larrson’s long time companion, on a research project relating to architecture/geography and crime. What she had to say took his research in a totally different direction that consumed him for the next 7 years.

Well known for his fictional trilogy, Larrson’s life work was in countering right wing and Nazi extremism. He investigated, researched and wrote for his own publications and others. The intersection of Stocklassa’s interests and Larsson’s was
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Armand Rosamilia
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before starting this book, I'd never known anything about an assassination in Sweden or the personal life of Stieg Larsson. I'd never even read his fiction books.

The author, Jan Stocklassa, makes an exhaustive and interesting case for who not only who the assassin was, but all the moving parts that went into getting there and having it still unresolved.
Laura Noggle
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Drags on a bit, but still reads *almost* like fiction.

Not as much Stieg Larsson as I wanted, more of a continuation into his research on the assassination of the Swedish prime minister in the 80s.

”What you are holding in your hands is a work of creative nonfiction. It is written like a thriller, but it’s factual.”
Greg
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The description starts hard-boiled as true-crime can get with tantalizing lost research of author/journalist Stieg Larsson on the ultimate cold-case the assassination Prime Minister Olof Palme February 28, 1986. That's one hell of a pitch, and I couldn't resist taking a crack at it. The reality is, Jan Stocklassa's globe-trotting, multi-lingual adventure has less to with Steig than catching the bug of citizen investigation in the vein of Michelle McNamara, with roughly the same results: not ...more
Jennie Louwes
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was choppy and yet congruent. It was quick paced and so packed full of information it verged on overwhelm. To keep the "players" straight you'd almost need to create your own wall map of interconnectedness with pictures, string, and thumbtacks! Of course, it's these very things that lead me to give "The Man Who Played With Fire" 4 stars.

I might very well be in the minority; but, I didn't fully realize who Steig Larsson was until I read this book. I have yet to read his Millinnium
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Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a tremendous true crime novel, based on the meticulous and detailed research made by the author, who had access to Stieg Larsson's archive from his years as publisher of the infamous "Expo" magazine. We all know Stieg Larsson as the man who was behind the publishing phenomenon of the "Millenium" trilogy, but only a few are aware of his work as a journalist which was dedicated to unmasking the extreme right in Sweden that gradually gained power from the beginning of the 1980s. Larsson ...more
Patricia Bowen
Sep 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was not what I expected. I got through the first fifty or so pages and it didn't draw me in. I knew it would be about Larsson, but it was billed as a thriller so I thought it would be written like one. Maybe the backstory and press accounts would have been more interesting interspersed with the story, instead of all up front where I had to plow through it without knowing how it would fit in. Perhaps it got better after another fifty pages, but if I wanted to read a documentary I would ...more
Monique
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was an eye-opener! I knew a little about the late Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme and his murder, but I didn't know that novelist Stieg Larsson had taken such a keen interest in the case. Jan Stocklassa, using his own research and tons of material Stieg Larsson had accumulated throughout the years, wrote a book that left me in stunned disbelief! Oh my goodness, the story of Olof Palme's unresolved murder is the stuff bestselling thrillers are made of!

THE MAN WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE
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Michelle Only Wants to Read
I found this book informative and interesting.
I learned more about Stieg Larsson, a favorite. It’s a shame he died so young. One can only wonder how much better at research he would’ve been with the current technology available. And, how the lack of technology at that time (not cameras in every corner, smart phones, etc) has helped to keep this assassination a mystery.

It was a slow read for me. I took my time with it. Second half was more engaging than the first, for sure.
John Bastin
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was interesting for a while, but it got old long before I got to the end.

Count this one as a DNF.
Ken Fredette
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I knew it, I read the whole book and only came away with a best case scenario. It was a hard read at first because of all the names but this cleared up when it got to maybe 15 or so. It took him 8 years but it took me two weeks on and off, to read. But I read other books in the mean time. I couldn't get myself motivated in reading it.
James H.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Fascinating theory, not clearly presented

This book was written for European audiences, particularly those in Scandinavia, and may be difficult for Americans to follow. My interest is that I lived in snd reported from Sweden the year Olof Palme become Prime Minister, interviewed both him and his predecessor, Tage Erlander, on the day they transferred power, and have followed Swedish politics ever since. I was shocked the day Palme was assassinated. Such things didn’t happen in Sweden. And I was
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Owlseyes




I read a few books by Stieg Larsson. I recall one of them mentioning the Olof Palme mystery. But "many Portuguese names" connected with the murder, is completely new to me. The author came to Portugal, last 15th of June.

https://www.dn.pt/edicao-do-dia/15-ju...
--

UPDATE



Last Friday [13th September] edition of Ípsilon had an interesting article about the book of Stocklassa. A Portuguese writer called José Direitinho had recently an interview with Stocklassa, in Oslo. Most important, it seems
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Javier
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Olof Palme, the Swedish Primer Minister, was assassinated on February 28, 1986, while going back home after being at the movies, Stieg Larsson, who would become world wide known years later with the “Millenium” trilogy, worked as a graphic designer and journalist for a news agency. One of his passions was investigating the extreme right groups that were growing up in Sweden, publishing a couple of books on the subject. After the death of Olof Palme he carried out a parallel investigation to ...more
Chris Birdy
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tedious!
Thk
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So glad to have picked this up at the local library, and many kudos to it investing resources in getting such latest books (some in advance of what you can find at the local bookstore). I am quite familiar with Larsson through the Millennium series, and not previously aware that he was a strong investigative reporter too.

A non-fiction account of the assassination of a former Swedish prime minister, it is divided into 3 main portions - Larsson's work, how Stocklassa came into contact and became
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Bryan Campbell
Oct 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I read this book because I greatly enjoyed Stieg Larsson's novels. I knew next to nothing about the Palme assassination. Jan Stocklassa is too much of a Larrson fan boy to write this book objectively. Larsson was an avowed Trotskite. He work hard to find any evidentiary linkage between the perpetrators of the assination and his real life political opponents.

I read the whole book. A lot of it is a pedantic run on description of Larsson's investigation of the assassination with a concomitant
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Kelly
Nov 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Destroyed any interest I had in the subject.
Joe Davoust
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicky
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The unsolved assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme has always intrigued me. It was for Sweden, what the JFK assassination was for the US, an end of innocence in many ways. As the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction and this book has everything the Dragon Tattoo series had and more. After discovering and reading Stieg Larsson’s archive of his extensive research into the Palme assassination, the author begins his own laborious search over many years. The links to the South ...more
Inken
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before Stieg Larsson became the most famous Scandi-noir writer on the planet, he worked as a well-respected investigative journalist in Stockholm. Inspired by his beloved grandfather, who had suffered persecution by Swedish supporters of Hitler’s Nazi regime during the 1930s and 40, his entire professional life he investigated, wrote about and exposed far-right wing groups in Sweden, their convoluted organizations and complex ties to international fascist groups, as well as big business and ...more
Deirdre
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a real eye-opener for me because I never knew about any assassination in Sweden. I had read Larsson's two Salander books and then an article published after his death which mentioned his vast research into extremist groups, and the sad fact that his significant other, Eva, did not inherit as she should have because Larsson had failed to sign his will. Instead, all royalties were left to his father and brother, two people he wanted nothing to do with. But his research into the ...more
Becky
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson's Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Jan Stocklassa began more like a biography of Larsson's life that brought him to his obsession. The second half focuses on Stocklassa's efforts to pick up the gauntlet and carry the investigation forward. I have come across mention of the 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme through my reading and viewing of stories and shows coming from Sweden.

Stieg Larsson is primarily known in the US
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Andrea Huelsenbeck
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve always felt sad that Stieg Larsson, the Swedish author of the Millenium series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and others) died before they were published and never knew of their international success and the movies they spawned.
I didn’t know that before he became a fiction author, he was an artist who created news infographics, and an unofficial investigative reporter. For most of his life, he devoted himself to fighting right-wing extremist movements, and he mapped out organizations and
...more
Socraticgadfly
A very interesting book, that's really two books, if you will.

One is about who murdered Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme 34 years ago.

The other is about acclaimed novelist Stieg Larsson's investigation into that issue until he died of a heart attack, before his trio of Millennium Dragon novels was published.

Not reading much fiction, I knew of Larsson's name, and trio of novels, but that was it. Before he started at work on the set, and even while he worked, as he kept his day job, he was an
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