Sunday, 16 January 2011

"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest" by Stieg Larsson

Year of Publication: 2007
Number of Pages: 746 pages
Genre: Crime, thriller

Summary: Antisocial computer-hacker Lisbeth Salander is in hospital after being shot in the head. However, as she slowly recuperates her problems are only beginning as she finds herself placed under arrest. To make matters worse some extremely powerful people will stop at nothing to make sure that she is silenced permanently. Her one chance lies with Mikael Blomkvist and the journalists of Millennium magazine who are determined to prove her innocence and unravel the shadowy conspiracy which has dominated Salander's life and which reaches to the highest echelons of the Swedish state.

Opinions: This book forms the third and final part of the best-selling Millennium Trilogy by Swedish journalist and author Stieg Larsson (following The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2005) and The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006)). This book follows on directly from the previous volume and like that book is less a conventional crime mystery than a complex conspiracy thriller. As with the other volumes in the trilogy, this book deals with political and social corruption and, most notably, male violence against women. The novel, the original Swedish title of which translates as "The Castle in the Air That Was Blown Up" ("a castle in the air" is a Swedish phrase which refers to a pipe dream), is an involving and powerful thriller, and fans of the series are sure to love it. It's well written and the epic cast of characters and large number of incidents are well handled and, despite being a long book, the pace is kept up.
Stieg Larsson himself did not live to enjoy the enormous success of the Millennium Trilogy. He died suddenly of a heart attack in November 2004 shortly after he delivered the manuscripts of the three novels to his publisher. Apparently, Larsson left an unfinished manuscript for another book in the series and notes for several more volumes.
If you've never encountered the Millennium Trilogy before they are well worth checking out and in my opinion, despite the fact that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the most well known, the best books in the series are definitely the second and third.

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