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I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy, Book 2) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) - Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander is wanted for a triple murder. All three victims are connected to a trafficking exposé about to be published in Mikael Blomqvist’s magazine Millenium, and Lisbeth’s fingerprints are on the weapon.

 

Lisbeth vanishes to avoid capture by the justice. Mikael, not believing the police, is despairingly trying to clear her name, using all his resources and the staff of his magazine. During this process, Mikael discovers Lisbeth’s past, a terrible story of abuse and traumatizing experiences growing up in the Swedish care system.

 

When he eventually finds her, it’s only to discover that she is far more entangled in his initial investigation of the sex industry than he could ever imagine. (source)

This is not a book that I would typically like. It's got lots of action, lots of violence, and tons of swearing. There's very little happiness in the Lisbeth Salander books, and with most other books that are similar to this one, I probably would have gotten frustrated and dragged my feet about finishing it. But this book, like its predecessor, captured my attention and kept me reading it, despite the fact that it took my book club 2 months to finish it. 

 

I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo about two years ago and hadn't re-read it before starting this, so at first some of the details were fuzzy. I would recommend that future readers read this soon after finishing TGwtDT in an effort to avoid these problems. If you've read anything by Stieg Larsson, you'll know that he's big on detail and even details that seem to be insignificant often have an important role in the story. I think this is an awesome trait - to pull this off, you have to plan out absolutely EVERYTHING about your work. It's super difficult to pull off, but Larsson did it. 

 

I forgot how long it takes Larsson to get into his stories. My copy of this book was 700+ pages long and I don't think we got to the murder until like 200 pages in. Which is absolutely crazy, and in the case of most mysteries (and heck, other books in general), readers would be sitting there scratching their heads thinking to themselves, "Get ON with it!!" But Larsson is able to keep the reader's attention the whole way through. I do think that this book would have gone much faster if I had been reading it on my own. I read it with my book club, so we split it into 6 sections and read it at a pace of about on section every week and a half. So it took a longggg time to finish this and I really don't think that I remember much about the beginning of the book. But that's what happens when it takes you 2 months to read a 700 page long book. I also ran into problems with keeping track of who's who, because not only are there a ton of characters, but they all have Swedish names. 

 

This story was very well-developed and was able to keep me, a reader who is NOT generally a fan of crime novels, very invested, even while reading over a prolonged period of time. There were moments that made me cringe because they were so raw, but I think that's a testimony to Larsson's skill at writing. I definitely recommend reading this - after recently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.