Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire
By Stieg Larsson
Knopf Doubleday
June 2009
512pp

The blurb from the publisher:

The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal best seller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and this time it is Lisbeth Salander, the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, who is the focus and fierce heart of the story.

Mikael Blomkvist—crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium—has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander.

The Short of It:

After reading The Girl Who Played with Fire you’ll need a nice manicure as it’s quite a nail biter! Tense at times with a very quick pace, this one will keep you on your toes.

The Rest of It:

This is book #2 in the Millennium series and after reading and reviewing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I knew I had to pick this one up quickly and that’s exactly what I did. Those that love the character of Lisbeth Salander will be happy to know that book #2 focuses on her and her story but when two journalists are murdered and Lisbeth is the prime suspect, she goes missing for quite a while and in fact, is not in a large portion of the book! I know! Scandalous!

As law enforcement gathers the evidence, Mikael Blomkvist and his staff at Millennium, try to put their own case together to find the real killer. As they conduct their investigation, additional details surface and the reader is given a very private glimpse into Salandar’s life. To be honest with you, I found myself frustrated with this portion of the story. I wanted to know what happened but it seemed as if so much time was spent on the forensic stuff. Yeah, I know that you sort of have to do that to solve a case but in the mean time, Salander is missing and you just want to know where she is and if she did it.

I was also slightly annoyed with the whole Giant thing. There is a Giant. A big, huge guy that is impervious to pain. It reminded me of that movie from the late 70’s, Foul Play. You know the one. It has Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn (good movie by the way). In that movie, she references a dwarf and she is given the warning “beware of the dwarf.” This was sort of like that. BEWARE OF THE GIANT LISBETH! I tired of the Giant.

We also get to know Mikael Blomkvist a little better but he is still the man with all the women! How he manages to bed these women and then remain friends with them afterward is beyond me. In real life I wouldn’t think too highly of someone like him, but for some reason he comes across as ‘okay’ in the novel, sort of an “Everyman” character which is really sad if you think about it.

However, even though I had some nit-picky moments with this one, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. It took off right out of the gate and kept going and it didn’t disappoint in the end. It all came together and left me feeling completely wrung-out and incredibly anxious for the next book. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is not available here in the U.S. but you can get it from The Book Depository and they have free shipping worldwide! However, they are now out of stock on the paperback so I will have to check back later.

Source: Purchased

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18 thoughts on “Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire”

  1. I agree with EVERY point you made. I still loved it however, AND got my paperback copy of the 3rd book from the UK Book Depository just before I left to come see my mother. (I left it at home because I was afraid I’d ignore her so I could keep reading – hee hee)

  2. After my rollercoaster ride with the audiobook of the first installment, I ran out and ordered the second from my library. I cannot wait!!!! Funny thing about Mikael. I think perhaps his aura is best captured on audio. He is very laid back and doesn’t seem to play many games. Maybe that is the attraction. Now I am sitting here worrying if and when the library will have the audio of the third book!

  3. At the rate I’m going with this series, the 3rd one will be here before I finally get to Dragon Tattoo. Actually I had Dragon Tattoo from the library but had to take it back before I got a chance to read it 😦

  4. I just finished the third book and it wraps up a lot of the cliffhangers. You will be seeing more of the giant in this one. He’s a creepy character that’s for sure!

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