Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire

Author: Stieg Larsson

Number of pages: 564

Started: 6 September 2009

Finished: 9 September 2009

Opening words:

Thursday, December 16 — Friday, December 17

Lisbeth Salander pulled her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and squinted from beneath the brim of her sun hat. She saw the woman from room 32 come out of the hotel side entrance and walk to one of the green-and-white-striped chaises-longues beside the pool. Her gaze was fixed on the ground and her progress seemed unsteady.

Salander had only seen her at a distance. She reckoned the woman was around thirty-five, but she looked as though she could be anything from twenty-five to fifty. She had shoulder-length brown hair, an oval face, and a body that was straight out of a mail-order catalogue for lingerie. She had a black bikini, sandals, and purple-tinted sunglasses. She spoke with a southern American accent. She dropped a yellow sun hat next to the chaise-longue and signalled to the bartender at Ella Carmichael's bar.

Read an excerpt here or here

Plot summary:

Lisbeth Salander, computer genius and woman of independent means, has learned to use every weapon in the book to achieve her ends. She does not forget and she does not forgive, and wherever she finds corruption or abuse - most especially of women - she is relentless.

She decides to wage war on the elusive figures of the sex-trafficking industry, using her prodigious skills as a hacker to further an investigation launched by her one-time friend Mikael Blomkvist, the publisher of Millennium magazine. But hardly has she emerged from her hidden apartment than she is embroiled in a double murder, and sought by the police for a third. Not only does evidence point to her being mentally deranged, but her prints are on the murder weapon.

The only way Salander can be reached is by computer. But she in turn can break into almost any network she chooses. For cunning, for resolve, for ruthlessness she cannot be matched. But now, hunted not only by Inspector Bublanski's team but also by every force in Sweden, she is beyond the reach of any protection. She is also the prey of terrifyingly violent men, who will stop at nothing to protect their criminal schemes. Salander must unearth and expose the truth before her pursuers find her.

What I thought:

Another enjoyable book (although a bit gory on places). This is the second in the Millennium Trilogy and was a good continuation of the first book. It can be read alone but it easier to follow if you have read the first. Salander, the main female character is an interesting take on the ‘heroine’ role (a term she certainly wouldn’t use about herself) and it is a fast moving plot. It perhaps wasn;t entirely credible the whole way through, but I was willing to suspend my disbelief to just enjoy a good crime read.

I am not much into crime fiction these days, but I have enjoyed this eries so far and will read the next book when it comes out later this year.

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