2.The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson

 Swedish title : Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden

Publication date : June 2006

English publication: January 2009 UK

Product description : from the Trade Paperback  edition

Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing expose on social injustice, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.
Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine “Millennium,” has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.”


I have to tell you that the second novel from ‘Millennium’ series didn’t let me down. It was even better that I thought it will be.

This time, Stieg Larsson showed us an even more dangerous part of Lisbeth Salander,  the end of the book being magnificent. I have tot tell you that the fight between she and her brother at Bjurman’s summer cabin and the fight between she and her father and then Niedermann again at the end of the book, is my favorite. Showing us that a tiny girl, with piercings and tattoos can be that powerful in order to save her life again, made me fell in love with Lisbeth’ character once again.

Mikael Blomkvist was as usually the hated journalist who would do anything to find out the truth.

The other characters were well exposed, each of them being entirely different than the others.

The action, full of violence seems to be so naturally for Stieg Larsson, thing that helped him to give us again a good book.

Next week, I will publish the review for the third and last book from Millennium series written by Stieg Larsson.


Read online: http://english4success.ru/upload/books/265.pdf

Note : If I made you to want to read the book, then stop reading this article now! I will continue telling more about what is this book about and, if you will continue to read, you will miss all the hunt.

If I didn’t made you to want to read the book, then continue to read this article. I promise that at the end, you will want to read it. Thank you!

Closer Look 

This is the second novel in the ‘Millennium’ series by Stieg Larsson. This time, the author chose to write the novel in four parts.

In first part, he focuses on Salander’s life. After the Wennerström  affair, she laundered a sum of three billion kronor and disappeared from Sweden, traveling throughout Europe. The novel opens with Salander in the capital of Grenada, St George’s. She is interested in Fermat’s Last Theorem and mathematics, so she spends days working on it. From her room in the hotel, she observes that her room neighbor, Dr. Forbes, physically abuses his wife.

Using her connections among the hackers’ network, she investigate Dr. Forbes and founds out that he has no assets, but his wife is the heiress to a fortune worth $40 million. When a hurricane hits Grenada, the hotel management begin ushering the residents of the hotel into a cellar. Salander goes to her friend’s room, Bland, to pick him up and on their way to the cellar, they sees Dr. Forbes trying to kiss his wife on the beach. At that point, Salander attacks him with the leg of a chair and abandons him there, all three retreating to the cellar.

In the second part, Salander returns to Stockholm, buys a new apartment and moves in with her new partner, Miriam Wu. She re-establish contact with her former boss at Milton Securities and with her former legal guardian, Holger Palmgren. Her current guardian, Nils Bjiurman continues to grow his fury towards her causing him to diminish his work down to a single client, Salander. He focus his attention on capturing her and destroying the film she made of him raping her. He scrutinizes Salander’s medical records, he learn about the ‘All the Evil’ incident and identifies an important person form her past, becoming ally with him.

Blomkvist has lost the contact with Salander. But, one night, when he was passing by Salander’s apartment, he witness her being attacked by a pony-tailed man with a beer gut. Blomkvist helps her, the attacker running away on his motorcycle.

At the ‘Millennium’ magazine, a young journalist, Dag Svensson and his girlfriend, Mia Johansson, are working at a meticulously-researched report, about sex trafficking in Sweden and the abuse of underage girls by high-ranking figures. The report is called ‘From Russia With Love’ and they wants Millennium to publish it in book form. During the research, they go across a name ‘Zala’, a shadow figure heavily involved in Sweden’s sex-trafficking industry. Salander, who has kept an eye on Blomkvist computer, sees the name and decided to visit the couple to ask questions.

In the third part, Blomkvist goes to the couple in the same night as Salander did. But he finds them both shot dead in their apartment, and the murder weapon left behind.

After a short talk with Erica Berger, The Millennium’s editor-in-chief and his lover, the magazine’s management team decide to postpone the publication of the couple’s book. They decided to backtrack Svensson’s research to ensure the accuracy of the material and to find if there are any possible murder motives. Blomkvist is tasked with finishing Svensson’s book.

Prosecutor Richard Ekström assembkes an investigation team led by Inspector Jan Bublaski who selects Sonja Modig for inclusion in the team. They identifies Salander’s fingerprints on the murder weapon and her formal records establishes her as a violent,psychotic young woman with a history of prostitution. They put her on national search.

While investigating Salander’s social circle, Sonja finds Bjurman shot dead in his apartment with his own revolver, the same weapon used on Svensson and Johansson. Salander remains the prime suspect, making Ekstrom to hold a press conference, describing her as being a danger to others and to herself.

Blomkvist realizes that Salander has hacked his computer so he leaves her notes on his desktop. She points him to Zala. Blomkvist confronts Gunnar Bjork, a high-ranking abusers identified by Dag and Mia. He agrees to give him information about Zala in return of leaving him out of Millennium expose.

Armansky send two of his employees, Hedstrom and Bohman, to aid the formal police investigation. When Miriam Wu  returns from a trip, she’s taken to the police station  for investigation. She confirms Salander’s intelligence and moral character.

Hedstrom. who carries an old grudge against Salander, leaks Wu’s name to the press who will make a sensation from it and from their relationship. They name Salander and Wu as members of a lesbian satanist gang, also publishing information about Salander’s past.

In the last part, Salander wanders why the press didn’t publish nothing about the ‘All the Evil’, the event which will swing public opinion even further against her. Blomkvist asks Paolo Roberto, a boxing champion and Salander’s former coach, to help by finding Miriam, who has been avoiding all contact from press, including Mikael.

Blomkvist focuses onto Zala as the key connection between the three murders and sex trafficking. Realizing the three years gap in Salander’s past, he decided to confront Bjork again and to trade his anonymity for information about Zala.

Roberto sees that Miriam is kidnapped into a van by a paunchy man with a ponytail, so he follows the van to a warehouse. There, with Miriam’s help, he managed to apply to the giant man massive blunt trauma so they could escape. The giant recovers and set the warehouse on fire to destroy the evidence for when the police will arrive.

Salander finds at Bjurman’s summer cabin, the ‘All the Evil’ ‘s file, beginning to make the connections between Bjurman and Zala who’s real name is Alexander Zalachenko.

In the meantime, two members of Svavesjo Mc goes to the cabin to burn it down. Salander managed to physically incapacitates them, leaving more suspects for Bublanski to find. She return to her apartment and decided to find Zalachenko and kill him. Salander finds the giant’s identity, Niedermann Goteborg.

Blomkvist finds the DVD revealing Bjurman’s crime and, with Holger’s help, he is able to put all the pieces together. Zalachenko is a former soviet defector under secret Swedish protection whose existence is kept classified by SAPO. He became the partner of a 17 year-old woman who became pregnant with twins, Lisbeth and Camilla. Zalachenko was an awful father who physically and emotionally abused his partner when he was home.

‘All the Evil”s file is about the moment when Lisbeth has set his father on fire.

Niedermann had killed Svensson and Johansson on Zala’s orders. When Salander visited them, she asked if Bjurman is on their list of high-ranking abusers and they called him right after she left. In a panic, Bjurman called ZAla, leading not only to their deaths but to his own as well.

Blomkvist doesn’t share all his findings with Bublanski out of respect for Salander’s privacy, fact that made him to admit that suspicions of Salander being a murderer may have been wrong.

Salander finds Niedermann’s address and set off there. She is captured by Zalachenko and Niedermann and learn that Niedermann is her half brother. When she tries to escape, Zalachenko shoots her in the hip, shoulder and head, and Niedermann buries her, not realizing that she is still alive.

Salander digs herself out and again attempts to kill her father with an axe.

The book ends with Blomkvist realising that Salander must be on the farmhouse and goes there to find her.

The end!

I hope you liked my review and you will come back for the next ones!

2 thoughts on “2.The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson

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