Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: mystery-crime

After the intriguing events of the first novel in the “Millennium Trilogy” (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) the major characters start out this book in a nice place. Life is good and it is time to get back to the more normal challenges of life. Of course things can’t stay that way or we wouldn’t have two more books in the series to enjoy. The plot gets going with magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist having decided to pursue his next major expose, this time about a sprawling sex-trafficking operation. Meanwhile, hacker extraordinaire and socially challenged Lisbeth Salander is finding good uses for her financial windfall from the first book. A small problem arises when two of Mikael’s business partners are brutally murdered and it just so happens that Salander’s fingerprints are on the murder weapon.

I do believe I actually liked this second book even better than the first. I didn’t feel that way at first because the first quarter of the novel was fairly uneventful. I didn’t mind too much because the author’s writing style is pleasant and I didn’t mind being a voyeur into these character’s everyday lives. But I was starting to grow mildly impatient for the adventure to begin. Once it did though, the book didn’t let up for a second. All the way to the end for a huge cliffhanger. I seem to be running into those a lot lately. This might bother some readers but, fortunately, I already have the next book on the shelf ready to go.

I’m certainly not the first to point out the character of Lisbeth Salander as being one of the most interesting and intriguing in all of literature. The first novel managed to maintain quite a bit of mystery about her history and what sort of childhood traumas she had experienced to result in such an interesting adult…and yet still build her as a sympathetic character. But I was very happy to discover so much of her backstory in this book and see what it was that molded her persona. Lots of surprises here too, all serving the overall development of the plot as well.

Perhaps what made this novel such a good read for me was the author’s ability to tell the story from multiple points of view and yet only reveal small bits of information all the way through. That is a real balancing act to pull off but I always knew what I needed to know. I also realized there was more to learn…and that crushing desire to find out what was actually happening just below the surface led me to that “just one more chapter before bedtime” syndrome.

On to book three as soon as I recover a bit from the adrenaline rush I experienced at the end of this one.

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Reading Progress

August 12, 2016 – Started Reading
August 12, 2016 – Shelved
August 16, 2016 – Shelved as: mystery-crime
August 16, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Leigh I loved his books, I read all 4 on audio.


Benjamin Thomas Leigh, I will most definitely read the third novel, the last to be written by Mr. Larsson and complete the trilogy. At this point I'm not certain if I will tackle number 4, written by David Lagercrantz. I may...mostly out of curiosity...but your recommendation may urge me on.


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