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Book Review of The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, Bk 2)

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, Bk 2)
cathyskye avatar reviewed on + 2251 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2

First Line: Lisbeth Salander pulled her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and squinted from beneath the brim of her sun hat.

A year has passed, and the Wennerstrom affair has finally calmed down. Mikael Blomkvist is no longer being hounded by the media, but he can't forget the young woman who saved his life: Lisbeth Salander. But Salander has seemingly vanished off the face of the earth, ignoring each and every attempt Blomkvist has made to contact her.

Things haven't remained quiet at Millennium magazine however. Journalist Dag Svensson and his girlfriend, Mia Johansson, have been researching the multi-billion kronor sex-trafficking industry in Sweden, and Millennium is going to run the expose and publish Svensson's book. Before all the facts have been double-checked, Svensson and Johansson are found brutally murdered in their apartment. The prime suspect? Lisbeth Salander. It's up to Blomkvist and the handful of other people who believe in this strange young woman to prove her innocence. As far as Salander is concerned, there's only one person she can rely on to do this: herself.

The first book in this series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was one of my Top Ten books last year. I had high hopes for this second book, and I wasn't disappointed. The police investigation into the double murder was stymied at every turn. The "expert witnesses" whose opinions are to be trusted, told the investigators what a menace to society Salander was. However, when they asked the same questions of the people who knew and worked with her, they got an entirely different picture of the woman. It took them valuable time to decide which people they should trust.

Once again, the person at the center of it all-- Lisbeth Salander-- is the most fascinating. As a young girl locked away in a psychiatric hospital, she was asked "Why won't you talk to the doctors?" To which Salander replied "Because they don't listen to what I say." If you don't listen to what this young woman says, she's not going to bother with you. At all. You won't even be a blip on her radar. When I turned the page to see "Part IV: Terminator Mode", I didn't bother to hide my grin. This could only mean that Salander was kicking into high gear. I loved seeing how Larsson tied the expose of the sex-trafficking industry and the double murder into Salander's own background, for this book does give insight into what makes Salander tick.

If you want to get to know one of the most fascinating characters in modern fiction, read Larsson's books. Lisbeth Salander will enter your bloodstream like the strongest of narcotics.