The Millennium Trilogy: Part 2 – The Girl who played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Part 1 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Part 3 – The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The Girl who played with fire is the sequel to the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  Just as with the first book, I found The girl who played with fire an excellent crime novel.  These books, with addition to The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest are part of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millenium Series’. Having read these books, I can say that with each book the story just gets better and better.

Please note this part contain spoilers, if you plan on still reading the book…

After the story that played out in the prequel, Lisbeth Salander returns to Stockholm (after disappearing from Sweden to travel throughout Europe) and purchased a new apartment while letting her ‘girlfriend’ Miriam move into her old apartment. Nils Bjurman is still seeking revenge on Salander and is out to destroy the evidence (tapes) she made of him sexually abusing her.  Meanwhile, a journalist called Dag Svensson and his girlfriend Mia Johanssen who is currently doing her doctoral thesis entitled “From Russia with Love” approaches Mikhael Blomkvist. The thesis she is doing is about sex trafficking in Sweden and they are requesting Millennium to expose the people behind it by publishing the story in the magazine. Shortly after contacting Millennium, Dag and Mia were murdered in their apartment with a weapon that has Lisbeth’s fingerprints on it.  Salander becomes the main suspect, especially after Bjurman was found dead in his apartment, shot by the same weapon.

Meanwhile, Salander hacked into Mikael Blomkvist’s computer and saw what he was working on –and tries to steer him in the right direction by leaving him a clue to investigate “Zala”. Mikael realises after investigating Zala that he is the connection between the sex trafficking and the murders.

“Zala” (Alexander Zalachenko) is a Russian defector who is under the protection of Swedish government because he was a source of information on Russia’s Intelligence operations. Zala is also Lisbeth’s father, who abused her mother and who she (Lisbeth) tried to kill by setting his car on fire. Lisbeth was imprisoned in a mental asylum for kids for this event – an attempt by Sapo to keep Zala’s existence secret.

Following various events in which the books describes the extensive investigation around the murders, sex trafficking and searching for Lisbeth Salander, Lisbeth found herself helping Mikael by searching for her father. Upon finding him, Zala and his son (Lisbeth’s half brother) tried to kill Lisbeth and buried her alive. Lisbeth managing to escape tried to kill her father with an axe, at which point after doing so she tried to escape.  The book ends on a high note with Mikael,upon reaching Zala’s place finds her wounded and call emergency services.

As previously stated, I found this book an excellent read. The story line just gets better and better with each sequel in the series. The ending of the second book leaves you speculating about what would happen next. Will Zala surive? Will Lisbeth survive? Will she get justice or will she be imprisoned? Will she and Mikael find their way to each other?

Luckily for me, I read the Millenium series back to back. I only learned about the books long after all 3 of them were in publication. However I do know that these 3 books were published a few months apart from each other, so I guess the waiting period for “what happens next” weren’t all that long!

Also, I loved the swedish movie of The Girl who played with Fire. After noting that I found the swedish movie of The girl with the dragon tattoo were WAY better than the american adaptation, I am hoping that the american version of The girl who played with Fire would not disappoint as they have with the first movie… Let’s hope!

Images sourced herehere and here