Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Girl who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson

I don’t normally go for novels written about the present-day, but Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy really is outstanding.

Even in translation, Larsson’s writing is clear, concise and driven. Intriguing hints and new twists combine deftly with touching moments and action-packed scenes, making it one of those books where ‘just one more page’ becomes another hour. The only criticism I have is that the writing style stays exactly the same even when we switch point of view characters, but each character still stands out as an individual, and it’s quite possible that some subtle differences were lost in translation.

In this, the second novel of the trilogy, the focus moves closer to home – to Stockholm, where both Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander live. When Salander becomes the suspect in the investigation of a multiple murder, the police and the press begin to dig into her private life and her past, and we, the reader, discover some of what happened to make her the unique and contradictory heroine she is.

The combination of bleak isolation and desperate empowerment contained within this novel is very compelling, and makes the trilogy utterly memorable and definitely well worth reading.

Next up: The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn

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