The Girl Who Played with Fire: Book summary and reviews of The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire

By Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2009,
    512 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Powerful prose and intriguing lead characters will carry most readers along." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Impatient readers may chafe at [the] seemingly irrelevant prolog, but like the mathematical puzzles Salander enjoys solving, there is a logic to the clues that Larsson carefully drops - integral to understanding his protagonist as we gradually learn her back story." - Library Journal

"[W]hile endlessly complex, the plot has the requisite chases, cliffhangers and bloodshed.Not to mention Fermat's theorem. " - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. A suspenseful, remarkably moving novel... One of the most compelling characters to strut the crime-fiction stage in years." - Booklist

"As good as crime writing gets ... Completely absorbing and engaging on both a narrative and a moral level . . . Lisbeth Salander [is] a remarkable heroine."” –The Times Literary Supplement

"The huge pleasure of these books is Salander, a fascinating creation with a complete and complex psychology ... Salander is recognisably a Lara Croft for grown-ups – a female Terminator." -The Guardian (UK)

"The Girl Who Played with Fire is that rare thing – a sequel that is even better than the book that went before ... A combination of urgent, multilayered thriller, traditional police procedural and articulate examination of the way a supposedly open-minded country like Sweden treats its vulnerable women and children." - The Observer (UK)

"With the spiky and sassy Salander, Larsson created the most original heroine to emerge in crime fiction for many years ... She seizes the book by the scruff of its neck and binds the reader in fetters of fascination." - The Independent (UK)

"This second novel is even more gripping and astonishing than the first. What makes it outstanding is the author's ability to handle dozens of characters and parallel narratives without losing tension. Larsson was a fantastic storyteller. This novel will leave readers on the edge of their seats." - The Sunday Times (UK)

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Lynn
Better than the first book in the series
I just love Lisbeth Salander! I am actually sad that there will only be 3 books with her as a character. This 2nd book of the series was non-stop action and suspense. I loved it as a follow-up to the excellent "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo". We got to spend more time with Lisbeth and her history on this one. Stieg Larrson has written a masterpiece. I can't wait for the next book.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by PDXReader
Better than the first in the series
This, the second book in the series, is more engaging than the first, and fans of the series will definitely enjoy learning more about its protagonist, Lisbeth Sanders. Far more of the plot revolves around her than it did in the first book, and the story also moves along at a faster clip, with few slow spots (if any). I did think the plot was a bit silly at times – lots of coincidental meetings, people just happening to be in the right place at the right time, over-the-top violence, characters who are one-dimensional, etc. Normally I’d consider these fatal flaws in a novel, but in this one, it somehow seems to work. It requires considerable suspension of disbelief, but it’s a fun book – if you don’t look at it too closely.

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Author Information

Stieg Larsson Author Biography

Photo: Britt-Marie Trensmar

Swedish author Stieg Larsson's life is every bit as fascinating as that of any fictional character. Mikael Blomkvist, the protagonist of The Millenium Series, in fact bears many similarities to his creator.

Karl Stig-Erland Larsson was born on August 15, 1954 in Västerbotten, in northern Sweden. He was raised in the countryside by his grandparents until his grandfather's death in 1962 (despite considerable research, including questions to his publisher, that is all we have been able to glean of his childhood).

After performing his mandatory two-year military service, Larsson traveled widely in Africa, witnessing the civil war in Eritrea first-hand. On his return to Sweden in 1977, he worked for Tidningarnas Telegrambyra (TT), the largest Swedish news agency. ...

... Full Biography
Link to Stieg Larsson's Website

Name Pronunciation
Stieg Larsson: Steeg (rhymes with league) LARSson

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