Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson
Translated from Swedish by: Reg Keeland
Maclehose Press, 2009
569 pages

Wow, what a ride!!! I read the first "Girl Who" book almost a year ago (click here for my April 2009 review of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) but had I known the second one would be EVEN BETTER, I would have read it much sooner. The Girl Who Played With Fire grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let you go until the last word in the last sentence.

Freaky genius Lisbeth Salander has been away from Stockholm for quite some time, traveling the world and doing a few other things. But within days of her arrival, she's suddenly a suspect in a shocking double murder. The victims are friends of Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist whose path crossed with Salander in the previous book. Mikael's friends were researching something that, when made public, would have implicated several people and government entities. Mikael knows Salander isn't a murderer - or is she? The evidence certainly points to her guilt.

There isn't much more I can write here without giving too much away. Just trust me that this is a really awesome series and that Book #2 is even better than Book #1. Yes, it does have some violence in it - it's definitely not a "cozy" mystery. But it's not as violent as the first book, and lots of questions that came up in the first book are answered in this one.

I read somewhere online that Larsson planned to make this a series, but he died suddenly just after finishing the third one. That's really too bad, because he was an amazingly talented writer, and the Blomkvist and Salander characters make a great team. Salander is one of the most unique and interesting literary characters I've come across in years. I like her.

The third and final book, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, will be released here in the USA in either April or May. But I have it already on my hot little bookshelf (ordered it from Amazon UK late last year). I'm probably not going to be able to wait much longer to read it. However, since I rarely read two of the same type of books in a row, you'll have to wait a while longer for that review.