Friday, January 6, 2012

BOOK: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, 724 pages

2nds Reading Challenge

I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over a year ago (eep!) almost two years ago and I bought this one to read soon after. Of course, once I had it, it looked so huge that I kept putting it off. I had forgotten how page-turnable the series is, because once I actually started this on New Year's Day, I flew through the seven hundred pages. I actually liked this second book better than the first one.

The first book introduced Mikael Blomvist and Lisbeth Salander, the reporter and the angry girl. The case that brought them together was sadistic and violent and pretty terrible. The original title of the first book was Men Who Hate Women, which pretty much is a good summary of the second book as well. I really liked the structure of this book as well. The first part reintroduces Lisbeth, and she becomes a fairly sympathetic character. She's anti-social, and can be very violent, but she has a strict moral code of her own, and she develops very deep attachments with a few people. Blomvist is now a more famous journalist, and is working with a couple to investigate sex crimes in Sweden. When a murder occurs, and Lisbeth appears to be the main suspect, the chase is on. The police, the journalists, and some of Lisbeth's friends all try to solve the crime, while Lisbeth is on the loose.

I could not put this down, and the reveals are spaced just far enough apart to keep the pages turning. Other than a slightly unbelievable event at the end, Lisbeth was an amazingly smart protagonist. I liked how Larsson paced the book, and I can see how the three books work as a series. I think the third book will now try to solve the whole case, drawing us more into Lisbeth and Mikael's world. Will Lisbeth let people help her? Can Mikael solve the crime?  Can't wait!