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The Return of Lisabeth Salander

  • Jun 26, 2010
Rating:
+3

Thankfully book sequels work better than movie sequels. Movie sequels are often cynical and half-baked attempts to cash in a successful movie, and nobody, the directors, writers or actors give a damn about credibility as long as they cash in.

Not true for books, at least not as much. Good writers treat their characters like their children, and would not subject them to the half-assed, hack-style treatment moviemakers do.

"The Girl Who Played  With Fire" is a good case in point. A sequel to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" Stieg Larsson lets us meet back up with his characters, and although he puts them through even more unimaginable horror than he did in Tattoo, they are their usual dysfunctional selves, working another murder mystery.

Karl Blomqvist returns, and he is on another big story, not his own, but instead that of a young freelancer on the sex trade. Lisabeth Salander is travelling the world, enjoying the money she made of the Wennerstrom affair, and appears to be slwoly becoming a happier, less dysfunctional person than before. Some murders come up where the evidence is tied to Salander. The police, organized crime, and Blomqvist all set out to look for Salander, who does an excellent job of disaapearing from everyone. Slowly but surely the noose tightens, and that is where the book takes off.

Salander is more the main character here, and we see her slowly maturing from the angry punk she was before. She disappears for nearly half the book, leaving the reader and her most ardent supporters, Blomqvist included, to wonder about her innocence. While all this is going on, we learn everyone's point of view except Salander's. You even wonder if she has turned from the protagonist into the villain;

.Blomqvist is more or less the same guy. For personal and professional reasons, he looks for Salander, and trying to figure out the chain of events. There is also the police, led by Inspector Bublanski who try to slove the case and are split up with each other as to who the suspect is and what his/her motives are.

Larsson has you seriously guessing. Main characters are credible suspects, there are different motives of all involved, and there are a few red herrings thrown in for good measure. There are various threads to the story, but it rarely meanders, and does not lose focus. He toys with the reader throughout, and the reader is the better for it.  

 

The Return of Lisabeth Salander

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January 09, 2012
I enjoyed your comments on The Return of Lisbeth Salander Mike
 
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More The Girl Who Played With Fire ... reviews
review by . April 07, 2012
   Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      I was a bit disappointed with how Dragon Tattoo ended.  It took a long time to wrap the Wennerstrom story, and it takes a while for the second book to catch fire as well, but when it does, you will quickly reach a point where you have to finish.  So you do things like spend three hours on a perfectly beautiful Saturday on Easter weekend with errands to run, or yard work to do, or family about, as I did, and …
review by . April 24, 2010
Mia Johansson, a bright young graduate student, is in the final stages of preparing her doctoral thesis on the controversial topic of sex trafficking. Her journalist boyfriend, Dag Svensson, approaches Mikael Blomkvist, the publisher of Millennium magazine, with the idea of extending this research into a series of articles on sex trafficking in Sweden. Knowing that this kind of exposé will reach into the heart of the Russian mafia, white slavery, the exploitation of under-age prostitutes …
review by . August 17, 2010
Compelling character Lisbeth Salander returns after her exploits in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." I was caught up in the story as if I was reading about a friend's daughter and the turmoil that she went through.      Lisbeth is suffering from the emotional toil from the actions in the first story. However, she's still an independent soul and a champion for the injured.      I believe that all readers of mystery novels and brave …
review by . October 16, 2010
This is the second novel in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy, and the sequel to "The Girl with a Dragoon Tattoo." It is not a true sequel as it doesn't deal almost at all with any of the circumstances that were at the root of the plotline in the previous novel. It, however, still has the same main characters, namely the Millennium magazine cofounder and journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the disturbed young woman with incredible intellectual abilities named Lisbeth Salander. …
Quick Tip by . March 13, 2011
Caption
At the beginning of this book, the character is strapped to a bed and things are happening to her.   It would be easier for the reader to know in advance that this happened in the past and it is something that the character is remembering.
review by . March 21, 2011
   The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, and a worthy sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’m still not sure these are the best books I’ve read, or even nearly the best, but they’re certainly enjoyable. The characters become more real in this book, or at least more complex. I enjoyed seeing Lisbeth building her new life, and the old hurts breaking through to break it down were convincingly revealed with a nice …
review by . July 21, 2010
Lisabeth Salander, whom we met in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, returns to Sweden from a year of living abroad. It has been an interesting time for Lisabeth; she has matured, made some changes in her appearance, and has been working on the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, which states no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n for any integer value of n greater than two. Salander is a very complex woman, as we discovered in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. …
review by . July 16, 2010
The huge number of readers who enjoyed Larsson’s first book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be thrilled with this one, for the drama and suspense are even better. The main characters are the same with the same interesting idiosyncrasies. The book has the same problems - it is difficult to identify and distinguish the Swedish people’s names and the places because they all sound the same - but this does not distract from enjoying the novel.           &n …
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
Gripping and Captivating Trilogy. Lisbeth will entertain you and cause you to want to finish the Trilogy right away. Wonderfully written
review by . October 16, 2010
This is the second novel in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy, and the sequel to "The Girl with a Dragoon Tattoo." It is not a true sequel as it doesn't deal almost at all with any of the circumstances that were at the root of the plotline in the previous novel. It, however, still has the same main characters, namely the Millennium magazine cofounder and journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the disturbed young woman with incredible intellectual abilities named Lisbeth Salander. At the end of the previous …
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About this book

Wiki

Mikael 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.

About the Author
Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0307269981
ISBN-13: 978-0307269980
Author: Stieg Larsson
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Knopf
Date Published: July 28, 2009 (U.S.)
Format: Hardback
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