The Girl Who Played With Fire.

By Stieg Larsson

Printed: 2009

Publisher: MacLehose Press. London

Dimensions 17 × 24 × 5 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 17 x 24 x 5

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In the original dustsheet. Navy cloth binding with silver title on the spine.

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The iconic character who has captivated 100 million readers worldwide.

“Even more gripping and astonishing than the first” Sunday Times

Lisbeth Salander can be viciously violent. Mikael Blomkvist knows it ­- and owes his life to it.

When a criminologist and a journalist who works with Blomkvist at Millennium magazine are killed on the brink of publishing a brutal exposé of human trafficking, the evidence points in one direction.

Salander’s prints are on the murder weapon. But Blomkvist knows Lisbeth would never act without reason, and he cannot find one here.

The victims were his friends. But so is Salander. Something much more dangerous is surely at play . . .

“That rare thing – a sequel that is even better than the book that went before” Observer

Review: Continuing the story of Lisbeth Salander which he began in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Swedish author Stieg Larsson creates a fascinating character study of a young woman with a terrible past, a young woman who also suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Salander, having worked with Mikael Blomqvist in the preceding novel, in which she used her formidable skills as a computer hacker to help him solve a major mystery, is on her own for most of this one. For reasons Blomqvist does not understand, she has refused to have anything at all to do with him, though they had had a relationship in the previous novel, and seemed to care greatly for each other. Salander has just recently returned from her travels around the world–using her substantial financial resources. Her hacking skills have allowed her to acquire an enormous bank account, and only Blomqvist is aware of how she has done it. She is fearful of the future–as she should be, considering her terrible past–and she is doing whatever she can to live a secret life in a luxury apartment that no one else knows about. A mistress of disguise, the people in her building have no idea what she really looks like or who she really is. Gradually, the reader becomes familiar with her background, her family, the reasons for her institutionalization as a young teenager, and the horrifying abuse she faced at the hands of her legal guardian, a lawyer supposed to protect her. A woman who believes devoutly in an eye for an eye, she has exacted her revenge upon him in ways he does not dare share with anyone else. Blomqvist, in the meantime, has continued with his work running Millenium magazine, which has been working on an article about the sex trade, its connection with the drug trade, and the high-ranking police and political officials who are involved in it. The two people who have been doing the investigative reporting for Millenium plan to name names in their expose. They are murdered before they can conclude their work. Three different investigations into the murders began, and all center on Salander, whose fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. She, in self-defense, uses her computer skills, once again, to read emails and the contents of Blomqvist and others’ computers to stay ahead of the investigators who are seeking her for murder. Larsson does a terrific job developing sympathy (and even admiration) for Salander, a woman whose violent behavior sometimes makes her hard to distinguish from the sadistic criminals who are pursuing her, and readers who enjoyed the previous novel will enjoy this one, too, as she becomes a more complete character. The action moves very quickly, despite the book’s length, and the author’s gradual revelations about Salander’s background add to the suspense and make her actions impossible to predict. Though Salander disappears from the action for significant periods of time, Larsson keeps the tension high by involving the people around her in high drama. Unfortunately, he relies very heavily on coincidence to resolve the action as the novel heads toward its conclusion, and the final revelations strain credulity to the breaking point. Still, the book is fun to read, especially for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.


Karl Stig-Erland “Stieg” Larsson (15 August 1954 – 9 November 2004) was a Swedish writer, journalist, and activist. He is best known for writing the Millennium trilogy of crime novels, which were published posthumously, starting in 2005, after he died of a sudden heart attack. The trilogy was adapted as three motion pictures in Sweden, and one in the U.S. (for the first book only). The publisher commissioned David Lagercrantz to expand the trilogy into a longer series, which has six novels as of September 2019. For much of his life, Larsson lived and worked in Stockholm. His journalistic work covered socialist politics and he acted as an independent researcher of right-wing extremism. He was the second-best-selling fiction author in the world for 2008, owing to the success of the English translation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, behind the Afghan-American Khaled Hosseini. The third and final novel in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, became the bestselling book in the United States in 2010, according to Publishers Weekly. By March 2015, his series had sold 80 million copies worldwide.

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