When I finished reading “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” my first thoughts were that I wanted to know more about Lisbeth Salander. Stieg Larsson gave me that wish in his sophomore novel, “The Girl Who Played With Fire.” Lisbeth is once again diving into the dark, criminal world of Stockholm, only this time, if she doesn’t stay one step ahead, it may cost her her life.
After helping Mikael Blomkvist wrap up the Winnerstrom affair, Lisbeth has taken some time off. No one has heard from her in over a year. When she finally returns to Stockholm, she continues to lay low, trying to start a new life. Suddenly, Lisbeth finds herself in a struggle to survive and/or stay out of jail. Accused of a triple homicide, she’s running from the police who want her for murder, and a group of bikers who want her dead. Lisbeth must confront her past, when what she refers to as “All The Evil” happened, to ensure she has a future.
The story revolves around Lisbeth this time with Mikael Blomkvist as the supporting character. Blomkvist is true and loyal to Lisbeth even when the cards are stacked against her. He believes she’s innocent even when no one else does.
Larsson has sprinkled his sophomore novel with even more dark characters than before. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” runs the gamut from sex-trafficking mob bosses to underhanded corrupt police officers. The one thing they all have in common is they want Lisbeth dead.
Just as with “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” my favorite parts were the one’s involving Lisbeth. She’s a fascinating character, and so full of irony that she’s never predictable. She’s that smart, bold, messy underdog, and you can’t help but hope things work out for her in the end.
“The Girl Who Played With Fire” is thrilling, suspenseful and definitely a page turner. I found myself staying up late at night to finish just one more chapter. I had a hard time figuring out a few of the twists which always makes for a more enjoyable read. Larsson has given more depth and thought to his second novel which leaves me even more excited for the third and final installment.
“The Girl Who Played With Fire” is a must read for anyone who loves a good mystery or thriller. Although, I would recommend having the third book, “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest,” nearby because you won’t be able to stop reading when you turn the last page.
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