Earlier this year I read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and became completely immersed into the story of murder and financial intrigue, which, if I'm honest, kind of surprised me. This second book in the Millennium Trilogy is much different than the first. While THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was mostly centered around Mikael Blomkvist, this installment takes us into the life of Lisbeth Salander and her past that she tries desperately to keep private.
Here's a quick synopsis from THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE . . .
Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander's prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society - but no-one can find her anywhere. Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, will not believe what he hears on the news. Knowing Salander to be fierce when fearful, he is desperate to get to her before she is cornered and alone. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together, he comes up against some hardened criminals, including the chainsaw-wielding 'blond giant' - a fearsomely huge thug who can feel no pain. Digging deeper, Blomkvist also unearths some heart-wrenching facts about Salander's past life. Committed to psychiatric care aged 12, declared legally incompetent at 18, this is a messed-up young woman who is the product of an unjust and corrupt system. Yet Lisbeth is more avenging angel than helpless victim - descending on those that have hurt her with a righteous anger terrifying in its intensity and truly wonderful in its outcome.
I'll just cut to the chase and state right here that I LOVED this book! Although I did enjoy the first book very much, I did grow tired of all of the character development and background information regarding all of the suspects surrounding the disappearance of Harriet Vanger some sixty years previous. But I hung in there and was completely satisfied with the outcome. The biggest contrast with this second book is that the character of Lisbeth Salander is front and center from the very beginning. It doesn't take long at all for things to start happening and once they do, it is a suspenseful ride filled with great characters and plot twists.
What I found impressive was that even though Salander is being hunted for murdering two people who were working closely with Blomkvist, the two of them don't actually come into contact until the last part of the book. But that doesn't mean they aren't involved with each other. I loved the way Larrson wrote this book. It completely had me from the beginning and didn't let go. It is hands down my favorite of the two books.
If you are one of those people who really had a hard time getting through book #1, I promise you won't have that problem with THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. It is edge-of-your-seat thrilling from beginning to end. I'm very much looking forward to the third book, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST. I'm planning to read it the first of the year. I resisted reading this series when it first came out because I usually don't get sucked into books with such
hype and mass popularity but my curiosity got the better of me and I can honestly say I'm really glad I made the exception. These books are definitely in my top 5 for 2010.
Published: March 2010