Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire (#2) by Stieg Larsson

Summary (from Goodreads):

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazineMillennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.
But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

Review:

It has taken almost two years for me to read the second instalment in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, and that is mainly because I just could not get over the violence from the first book.

I finally turned to the second book after being told that I ‘must’ read it and because, with the release of the film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I felt I should read the series.

So, what did I make of it? Well, thankfully, this time the violence was not as marked as in the first novel, but there is quite a bit of it, which I suppose is needed for the story. I enjoyed learning more about Lisbeth Salander’s life, and it was refreshing to see Lisbeth financially independent, even though the means of her sudden windfall is not the most ethical. The other characters, Blomkvist, Palgrem, and the others that come in contact with Lisbeth are more developed and rounded, which adds more depth to the novel. The action is fast paced from the beginning, which was a huge difference between the first and second books, making this one more readable.

While I did enjoy this book, what continues to bother me is the simplistic style of the writing (due to the translation?), and the unnecessary, I feel, details (bathing, breakfast, coffee, laundry, etc) that could have been excluded. In the end, the story was better, much easier to ‘get into’, and the action more fast paced.

Having said that, I’m in no hurry to pick up book three 🙂

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