Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Girl Who Played With Fire

5060378Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, 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.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Stieg Larsson continues the trilogy with The Girl Who Played With Fire and it's even more thrilling and dangerous than the first round. When a writer with a book about sex trafficking that will expose the dirty little secrets of police officers, politicians, and thugs shows up on Millineum's door step, Mikael Blomkvist wants nothing more than to publish it. That desire explodes into necessity when that writer and his girlfriend are murdered, and it looks like Lisbeth Salander's the one who pulled the trigger. 

Though the book circles through the characters, Salander and Blomkvist are still the main characters of this criminal mystery. Readers learn more about Salander's past, giving them further insight into her psyche while they also get to see Blomkvist back in action as an investigator. Salander's roughly disturbed childhood comes to light bringing more readers to her side through empathy and understanding. Even if she was the one to murder the aspiring author. I really enjoyed watching the dynamic between Salander and Blomkvist shift, since in the end of the first book Salander wasn't happy with his actions. 

The plot of this installment is thicker and more twisted than any web I've seen before. There are so many bystanders that are dragged into the mess of the investigation that it's difficult to keep them all straight. The main plot line follows the murders of the author and his girlfriend, pinpointing Salander as the murderer. After readers pick a side, agreeing with the police or with Blomkvist, the background comes to life sharing more details and more intrigue into the life of Lisbeth Salander. Highly recommended for lovers of crime and mystery novels, but only if they're ready to be fully invested in Miss Lisbeth Salander.

Rating: 4/5 Cups

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