Monday, 28 November 2011

Book Review - The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The concluding book in the Millennium trilogy and a gripping one at that.  At the end of the 2nd book there was a tense ending with still unanswered questions (clearly) and this book picks up directly at the final point of the preceding title.

Once again the two heroes of the piece at Lisbeth Salander - who is one of the oddest main characters in any series of books you may find and the journalist Mikael Blomkvist. 

So firstly - you can't really read these books out of sequence, especially this one follows so much from The Girl Who Played With Fire that frankly I suspect you'd be totally lost before long.  However if you have read the first two there are still a bunch of questions to be answered about what happened to Lisbeth in her childhood and how none of this has ever come to the surface before. 

Without trying to give too much of the plot away Lisbeth is in hospital gravely ill and still likely to come before the court on a series of charges relating to the incidents in the previous book.  Blomkvist is determined to help her despite her reticence to ask for any help or to engage in any dialogue with authority figures.  Finally you start to get beneath the outer layers of her in this book and begin to understand, in part, why she behaves as she does.

The whole plot revolves around several groups and their investigations into the events and also those that will stop at nothing to conceal the original truth and there are a couple of interesting sub plots as well.

And the ending... well just let's say that the seed was very much sown for the next in the series... and there lies the rub and the real life bizarre controversy around this series.  If you don't know Stieg died suddenly just after the first three books were accepted for publication.  His long time partner had collaborated on these, has the uncompleted manuscript for the fourth and allegedly outlines for up to 6 more.  However Stieg died without a will and without marrying his partner Eva Gabrielsson so by Swedish law his father and brother inherited his estate, which with the sudden international success of the novels was not inconsiderable.  Eva has refused all offers asking repeated for the total rights to the works, not she claims for the money but to manage them as Stieg would have wanted. 

I'd love to read the 4th novel if it ever comes out.  There is a trilogy of films (in Swedish) and the first is a soon to be release Hollywood block buster.

In fact sooner or later the whole story behind the real life story may become a book/film... Larsson was himself a journalist who publicly exposed some nasty folks - not unlike Mr Blomkvist in the books.  His death maybe simply one of those things but I'm sure there is a list of conspiracy theories as long as your arm as well.

Anyway to sign off on the book - a compelling read if you've got into the characters via the first two books.

1 comment:

  1. We finally got around to watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and it was gripping. Definitely want to check out the books, but will start at the beginning.