Evanston Public Library's Reviews > The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
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's review
Jun 11, 2010

So, does the third and final book in the Millennium trilogy live up to the complexity and intensity of the first two? Almost everyone who saw me reading this one, asked that, and I have to be honest--I'm a teensy bit disappointed. I think the second one, The Girl Who Played with Fire, is just a tough act to follow. But others disagree, they said they loved it.
This one picks up with hardly a lost beat where the second one left off, and that was one of the all-time best cliff hangers I've come across. The third book has a slower start. Our quirky, dark heroine, Lisbeth Salander, has a bullet in her head and is fighting for her life, and Mikael Blomkvist, earnest and passionate (and as attractive to women) as ever is struggling to find the truth and put things right. So begins a many-layered search by good and evil forces at all levels of the Swedish government--from the provincial police to the most hush-hush organization--to find out what really went down in that abandoned garage on the outskirts of Göteberg, and to either to protect and clear Lisbeth or to "eliminate" her one way or another. There are back stories and side stories, of course, to balance the main plot. It's a bit of a challenge to keep straight the character names, place names, and the agency acronyms (SIS is the Swedish CIA...I think). A glossary and character list would have been really helpful. As with the first two books, there is much graphic violence, foul language, sexual content, smoking, and coffee drinking (a given in Larsson's novels). Lest I wander into the realm of spoilers, I'll stop here and suggest that if you haven't yet gotten into the Larsson trilogy, start with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and you'll have a few weeks (or less if you read fast) of great summer reading. I must add here that I felt very sad at the end of the third book. Stieg Larsson died suddenly in 2004 on the eve of publication of these books, and unless some brave author undertakes to build upon Larsson's notes for future Millennium books, and the rights to publication can be arranged, this is the last of what promised to be a wonderful series of books and films. (Barbara L., Reader's Services)

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