Don’t get your fingers burnt

Stieg Larsson may no longer be with us but his trilogy of crime novels with a twist continue to feature in the top selling book lists. So, what happens to maverick Lisbeth Salander in the next thrilling installment?

As you would expect, The Girl who Played with Fire picks up the story from the end of its forerunner, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth returns to Stockholm and using her talents as a computer genius, sets herself up in an apartment that is off the official radar. But life is never that simple and in one night three brutal murders occur, with Lisbeth the only apparent link between all the victims. As prime suspect she becomes the focus of a national police hunt, not good for someone who is trying to lay low.

Lisbeth has suffered terribly in her life. Some of her background having been revealed in the first novel, now the reader now gets to fill in some of the blanks. Taking things at face value, the media portray Lisbeth as a psychopath on the rampage, making it difficult for her to front up and prove her innocence.

Of course, it’s not only the police and the media who are hunting Lisbeth. Her old comrade and lover, Mikael Blomkvist, is trying to find her to get the real story and help her. As a fugitive, Lisbeth digs deep to find the culprits behind the murders and clear her own name. Two of the victims were colleagues of Blomkvist working on a story which revealed a massive scandal of prostitution and drug trafficking between Russia, Eastern Europe and Sweden.

In this book Stieg Larsson juggles many stories, each in themselves rich with intrigue, providing a fast-paced narrative packed with emotional twists. This allows the reader to forgive some of the clumsy links and flaws in this tale. The clichés are rife in this book, scarred yet misunderstood central character, biker gangs, Russian Mafia, incompetent policing, evil figures from the past and of course, the one person who truly believes Lisbeth is innocent. However, these aspects do little to reduce a thumping good tale.

The Girl who Played with Fire is a hefty tome, but one you’ll find difficult to put down

Stieg Larsson

Quercus Publishing PLC

RRP: $24.95

Save on the RRP and buy here.

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