Archive | March 11, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Exposé: Millennium publisher Mikael Blomkvist has made his reputation exposing corrupt establishment figures. So when a young journalist approaches him with an investigation into sex trafficking, Blomkvist cannot resist waging a war on the powerful figures who control this lucrative industry.

The Murder: When a young couple are found dead in their Stockholm apartment, it’s a straightforward job for Inspector Bublanski and his team. The killer left the weapon at the scene – and the fingerprints on the gun point in only one direction.

The Girl Who Played with Fire: Ex-security analyst Lisbeth Salander is wanted for murder. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society – but no-one can find her. The only way Salander can be reached is by computer. But she can break into almost any network she chooses…

I read the first in the Millenium trilogy in January after I was given these two books for Christmas.  As soon as I read the last page, I knew I’d have to start the follow-up soon.  I think I lasted about four weeks before the urge overtook me and I had to read it.

I’m torn on what to say about it, because I really loved it, but had a few issues with it.

I’ll start with the love for it.  The story’s great – almost from the first page you get gripped.  The whole time I was reading it I was trying to work out one or another thing that was happening.  I didn’t succeed.  I read the whole 600 odd paged novel in an incredibly quick time because I just had to read more, and more and more.

After 150 pages I realised the main story hadn’t started, but it didn’t matter because I was so gripped with the characters and the sub plots that they alone would have kept me interested.

The characters.  I love the characters.  Even more so in this one than the first.  And I love what happens to them.  By the end of the book I was so happy about something that transpired.  I know that sounds cryptic, but I don’t want to give away anything.

There’s just a couple of let downs to the book.  I sometimes found it hard to follow the characters as they progressed through the novel.  I know no Swedish at all, which meant I didn’t know how to pronounce any of the names correctly, so couldn’t make that connection in my mind, also sometimes they were similar.  When a couple of characters appeared for the second time, I had to think back, or trace back, to find out who they were.  For example there’s Blomvist, Bjurman, Björk and Berger.  Maybe it’s just me?

While I was reading the novel, I was also doing a workshop on showing not telling when writing.  I found I’d read big passages that I thought were telling not showing.  They also seemed to have no significance.  I had to keep telling myself it’s to show the state of mind of that character.

These little things weren’t enough to put me off it.  Like I said, I did love it and would recommend it to anyone (although I’d definately say read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo first).  I honestly can’t say whether I prefer this one or the first one; I truly hope the next one will be as good.

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