I finished reading this a while ago, but did not get around to this post until now. So while I did love the book, the long gap between reading it and writing about it might have dampened my bubbling over enthusiasm for this concluding novel of the Millennium Trilogy. While I loved the story, the cumbersome size of the book is still a sore point. I like a book size that fits into my handbag and is easy to read while supine!
Read my views on the first 2 parts:
This book was a fast-paced fun read. And it gets extra points from me for appealing to my paranoid side – full of conspiracy theories and conspiracies. A section of the Sapo (the Swedish Secret Police) runs amok in their desire to protect a political refugee, Salander’s father. Politics and his out of control mean streak are the reasons that Slander is labeled an enemy of the state and sees the inside of a psychiatric facility for most of her teen years. It also goes to explain why she turns out to be so anti-social and secretive. Salander lands in deep trouble, but also gets to tell her side of the story and all mysteries and secrets are finally revealed. Injustice against women and right wing radical political elements are tackled throughout this novel. And if I needed any more convincing, (not that I did) the courtroom drama towards the end of the story was the clincher.
Synopsis: At the end of Part 2, Slander is shot in the head and left for dead – but with characteristic grit survives until Blomkvist gets there in time to get medical help. She is no longer the prime suspect in the triple homicide, but does have to explain what happened in the farmhouse where the old man Zala ended up with an axe in his head and the blond giant Niedermann is on the run – leaving dead bodies along the way. Now there are two sets of police investigations – one where Niedermann is being chased for the triple homicide and one where Salander has to explain what happened in the farmhouse. She gets to use her hacker skills and also engage the willing services of old friends Plague and gang to get the incrimination evidence she needs to clear her name.
There is a faction within Sapo that suspects that Salander was a victim of some twisted political agenda prompting a secret internal investigation that goes very high up the ranks and even enlists the support of the Prime Minister. Blomkvist is also conducting his own investigation into this and joins hands with the internal investigation to bring those responsible to justice.
Berger moves on from Millennium to a daily and has to contend with trying to stand her ground in an old boy’s club. Uncooperative colleagues and a corrupt boss are almost the least of her problems as her risque past is under threat of exposure.
We meet many strong women characters – Salander, Berger Gianini and Figuerola – who all take control of situations and kick ass when needed.
Salander wins on multiple fronts and is finally able to take control of her life the way she wants to. After having avoided Blomkvist for 2 years for reasons that can only be construed as self-preservation, she finally opens her door and herself to him.
It is very unfortunate that the author Stieg Larsson did not live to see the success that this trilogy became. On a selfish note, I would have loved to read more such thrillers written with this grasp of plot and character development. Loved the trilogy and this is one of those books/series that I will reread in the years to come and I have no doubt will enjoy them as much as I did the first time around.