Will Byrnes's Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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Aug 05, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2009

In the second of his three volume series (well, at least it was three until Larsson's heirs hired someone to make a fourth from his notes) centered on the remarkable researcher and hacker Lisbeth Salandar and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, Larsson has delivered a totally engrossing page-turner. About to publish a book that reveals many dirty secrets concerning the international sex trade in Sweden, Blomkvist is caught up in a deadly race for the truth when his two authors are murdered and Salandar is accused of the crime. Larsson touches on corruption at all levels in this tale of women used and abused, treated like any other imported illegal product and powerless to protest. From low level johns to misogynist cops, from dark psychologists to supersecret intelligence agencies, many layers of Swedish society come under Larsson’s microscope. It is not a pretty picture.

description
Stieg Larsson - from famourauthors.org

Salandar, back in Sweden after an extended sabbatical, has grown somewhat from the character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but remains hard-core, justifiably paranoid, blessed with almost magical techie powers (maybe a bit too magical), and an impressive command of several forms of combat. She is, as usual, totally victimized and misportrayed by the powers that be, and needs all her savvy to try to right the latest wrongs. Blomkvist is perplexed by Salandar’s unwillingness to communicate with him, but he has had girl-troubles before. He remains what he was in volume 1, a dedicated, moral actor trying to use his skills to make Sweden a better, or at least more honest, place.

description
Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander - from wikimedia

Blomkvist and Salandar are characters one can care about and the subject matter makes for pretty stark, sometimes cartoonish, delineations between good and evil. Maybe a bit more ambiguity would have worked too. But that is a quibble. This is a fun read, a book you will not want to put down, one that leaves you panting for volume 3.
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04/21/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Councillor Great review, Will! This was my least-favorite book from the Millennium series for various reasons, but looking at the entire trilogy, it was still a fascinating look into the Swedish society with interesting characters and an engaging plot. Thank you for your review which allowed me to revisit this series. :)


Will Byrnes Thanks Councillor.I quite enjoyed all three.


Bill Khaemba The millennium triolgy is one of the best crime series I have ever read


Will Byrnes Ditto


message 5: by R.E. (new) - added it

R.E. Page after your review and the comments above, I think I mighy put Steven King back on the shelf and go buy the series. You have me intrigued.....extremely intrigued. :) Thanks


Will Byrnes The trio are indeed pretty goodf. I can't comment on the 4th, not having read it.


Asghar Abbas I love this mythology but am I the only one who thinks this series is a bit simplistic? Maybe it's the translation or the inane description of brands.


Asghar Abbas On an almost similar theme I love Aurora :) Creatures from the North


Will Byrnes Asghar wrote: "I love this mythology but am I the only one who thinks this series is a bit simplistic? Maybe it's the translation or the inane description of brands."
I am not one of those who do, although Salandar's abilities do go a bit beyond. I quite liked it.


Murf the Surf Will, good review. One of the greatest reasons I'd love this trilogy so much is that I hang out most summers in Denmark and Sweden. Their microcosms are so similar and I can relate to their peoples. However, no, I'd never befriended likes of the killers in these novels. The nordic people have great witers and song bands too. Everything over there, including their cars, are very retro americana style. Go clubbing in Copenhagen some time and you'll see what I mean. Peace.....Murf


message 11: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes I am definitely the wrong demo for clubbing. I have been to Denmark, a lifetime ago, and touched Sweden for a few hours, but that is the extent of my in-person exposure. Hopefully none of us has had personal interactions with psycho killers, at home or abroad.


Asghar Abbas Murray Winship (MURF) wrote: "Will, good review. One of the greatest reasons I'd love this trilogy so much is that I hang out most summers in Denmark and Sweden. Their microcosms are so similar and I can relate to their peoples..."

You should check out Aurora, her music is great.


message 13: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes I'll check it out


cookies rule trust me hello


Asghar Abbas Good, even just talking about her makes me feel better.


message 16: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes Asghar wrote: "Good, even just talking about her makes me feel better."
I caught several Aurora items on Youtube. Sweet!


Asghar Abbas Awee awesome :) see, instantly happy this makes me. I wish more people knew about her, at the same time I want to keep her hidden lol


message 18: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Byrnes I understand


Asghar Abbas Ah good. Next try WARPAINT .


message 20: by Sarah Hendy (new) - added it

Sarah Hendy Whant to read


message 21: by Sarah Hendy (new) - added it

Sarah Hendy Are. You fine to day


message 22: by Sarah Hendy (new) - added it

Sarah Hendy Gullivers travel i what to read


Murf the Surf Asgar...aye , Warpaint is most excellent as is Robyn. She can shake a radio off of a shelf! All is well in the North Sea these days. I can't wait to get back. This trilogy is well worth the read.


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