Millennium Trilogy Part 2: The Girl Who Played With Fire

21 Apr

Stieg Larsson set an easy, fast pace with the first book of the series. Finishing this book brought back a childhood, child-like excitement… when my hands would itch to get another Five Find-Outers… and the next.

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Part 1) ended with the strong premonition that Salander’s misadventures were far from over.  A social misfit does not generally get away with taking on someone in power without facing the consequences in any story that is close to realistic. So we have an idea as to the direction the sequel would take and the recurring characters it would bring along.

The book starts with a bang, with Salander’s childhood being teased into the picture. From there, it is another pan-continental head spinner.

Millennium’s foray into the sex trafficking underworld lights a fire that does indeed go out of control. Salander, Blomkvist and the rest of the gang are joined by reporter Dag Svensson, his academician girlfriend Mia Johansson, and the investigating police team, headed by “Bubble” Bublanski. Professional hit men, bigoted police officers, vengeful investigators and more sharply drawn characters join this plot. And it gets so twisted that at times there seems no way to bring all the threads of the story to an acceptable conclusion. But the plot does move ahead with Blomkvist and Salander working their own separate brands of magic.

Salander has more money than she knows what to do with, so she takes on some beautiful Caribbean Islands. The seedy sex trafficking and prostitution in Sweden takes center stage in this story line. Salander’s past rears its ugly head and “All That Evil” is about to come bubbling to the surface. She finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is accused of a triple homicide. Salander goes on the run and with more than a little help from our hero detective reporter manages to clear her name, but not before she is dragged to the proverbial mud.

The Swedish title, Men Who Hate Women, now makes more sense to me – there is a lot of abuse, and miscarriage of justice towards a lot of women. While I haven’t found any studies or articles that support the truth of the statements and statistics in Dag Svensson’s book, I did find something else that got my attention: In Sweden, prostitution is illegal for the buyer, not for the one who is offering the services. Actually called the “Swedish Approach” it is a testament to the radical feminism prevalent in this country.

At any rate, another great read – the suspenseful end made me go out and buy the third part – quite throwing my book budget for the month out of the window. On another note, the bibliophile in me strongly protests not finding the smaller edition of the book for Part 3. I now have a huge, fat book to take into bed with me to read the concluding part.

Ciao until I finish Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

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