The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden) by Stieg Larsson
Category: Crime Fiction
Challenges: Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge 2010
Synopsis: In the second instalment of Stieg Larssons Millennium Trilogy Lisbeth Salander has returned from a longer stay abroad when a series of events conspire to put her well concealed past into the forefront not just of her life but for all the world to see. Only a handful of people believe in Lisbeth’s version of events and they must now figure out the puzzle that is Lisbeth before it is to late. At the front of this effort is journalist Mikael Blomkvist. There is a problem however, for some reason Lisbeth has severed all contact with Mikael and he doesn’t know why. What follows is a dramatic search for a truth that has been protected by the highest powers in the country.
My Thoughts: I liked this book better than I did The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but I am still not convinced that it is as amazing as people keep saying.
I enjoyed the development of Lisbeth. I felt a great deal of interest in her. She is an intriguing character and the mystery surrounding her background was what kept the story alive. I do feel that this is the strength of the book. Lisbeth, for all her eccentricities and general standofishness is a character one wants to and ultimately does like. She has a clear sense of what is right and wrong and although she goes about setting wrongs right in a slightly odd way she does have a clear moral reason for it all.
The book also delivered a couple of sucker punches that I did not see coming. I won’t spoil anyone who hasn’t read it but I had to read a couple of sections over to make sure that what I thought I had just read really was what I had read.
When I reviewed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I referred to Jackie from Farm Lane Books who did not enjoy that book. In the comments to her entry there was a discussion regarding the fact that the books might have been different if the author had lived to work with an editor. While I can see that there can be some problems with editing the works of a dead author but I do feel that some editing needed to be done to this book. My main issue with the lack of editing is the fact that the characters mix using first and last names with just first names, often in the same paragraph. Who uses both first and last name when thinking about their co-workers, especially when you work in a small team? I never did. In addition to this in Sweden we usually just use first names. I can see why it could be important when introducing a major character but I really don’t care if a journalist who works with the main character is Lottie or Lottie Karim. I know who she is. She is only mentioned a few times and I don’t see why we need her last name. The mixing of using just first names and first and last interrupts the flow of the book and I think that this could have been edited and the book would have been better.
Overall I thought this book was okay. It didn’t wow me but I did think it stronger than the first book in the series.
Previous book in the series: