Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
Translated by Reg Keeland
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2009
630 pages
2nd in Trilogy
4.5/5 stars

Source: My sister bought it after loving Dragon Tattoo

Summary: The exciting sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth has had no contact with Mikael after the successful conclusion of their first investigation together. She has been traveling while he has been working on a new explosive book and article for his magazine Millennium. Soon she is caught up in murder and he has to hunt her down.

Thoughts: Again abuse toward women is a prominent theme. This time there is more of Lisbeth's history and an expose of human traffickers in Sweden. It was terribly depressing to read how the system skipped over these vulnerable women and ignored them. In this case though Millennium is getting involved which ties Lisbeth and Blomkvist back together again.

In the book, they don't really meet although they communicate through Lisbeth's favorite way (computers!) However they are both trying to puzzle out the same thing. One of my favorite things about this book and the previous is how they both solve the mystery despite the fact that they are coming at it from completely different angles and with different knowledge and biases.

I would also classify this more as a mixture of thriller and mystery. Mystery because in thrillers the reader is supposed to know more than characters which was not always the case but definitely still thriller because it was absolutely page-turning. It did take me longer to read (4 days to Tattoo's 2) but that was because I had to work and because it's longer. I don't want to spoil much of the plot

I did not like the end, mostly because it ended with a cliffhanger! I would have liked it more if I had the third book with me and could have started it although who knows if it would have picked up right afterward.

I was just as bothered by the casual attitude toward sexual relationships in this book and possibly even more so because it felt like there was more in the beginning.

Mostly cheers to translator Reg Keeland who had a mammoth task in translating these tomes. One thing I didn't like was, in both books, the usage of variations of "You'll have to seduce me." That makes me think a. of The Graduate and b. what awkward phrasing. I don't think it works in American English although perhaps it's okay in Britain.

Overall: Another gripping thriller from Larsson that ends on a cliffhanger!

Cover: I think I like this cover more with the golden hair shimmering although I don't think Lisbeth's hair is supposed to be that color or length so it may be irrelevant.

Unfortunately we're waiting for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest to come out in paperback so I won't be reading it for a while. But I will manage as I have a score of other really interesting books in my pile.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoyed this series I have to admit - despite some of my misgivings about some aspects of the story, it was so exciting that you cant help but get carried away with it

  2. OK, your reviews of this series are mouth-watering, I really have to get my hands on these books. I definitely will, starting this fall or winter. I like to read such books when it's cold outside.


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