The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second riveting novel in the Millennium Trilogy, following The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In The Girl Who Played with Fire, journalist and publisher Mikael Blomkvist, has a new freelance journalist at his magazine, Millennium, who has an extensive study on sex trafficking in Sweden that will uncover the crimes of many high-ranking officials. The freelance journalist, Svensson, is planning on publishing an article with Millennium and also a full-length detailed novel. Svensson is working together with his fiancée, Mia Johansson, who is doing her doctoral thesis on the same subject.
Lisbeth Salander has used her newfound wealth to take a trip around the world. She vacations in the Caribbean and spends her time working on complex math problems, defending women against “men who hate women,” and trying to avoid a hurricane. She eventually makes her way back to Stockholm and tries to reconnect with people from her past, while avoiding Mikael Blomkvist. She does like to keep tabs on his work through hacking into his computer and is intrigued by the sex trafficking investigation.
When Svensson and Johansson are found murdered, Lisbeth becomes a suspect as her fingerprints are found on the weapon. She becomes all but convicted of the crime by the police and press when her legal guardian, lawyer Nils Bjurman, is also found murdered. Lisbeth has to remain hidden while trying to solve the crime. The only person on her side is Mikael Blomkvist who wants to help Lisbeth and find the murderer of his friends. The resulting mystery is enthralling, and also helps to solve the mystery of Lisbeth herself.
I loved this novel. While the start of the novel was rather slow, once I got into it, I had a hard time putting it down. I really wanted to solve the mystery and to learn more about Lisbeth herself.
I love the characters of Lisbeth and of Mikael Blomkvist. They are each unique and intriguing characters that I truly love to read about. Lisbeth is an anti-social punk, but she has her own set of morals and makes sure that justice is served. I loved Lisbeth’s character growth in this novel from the beginning where she feels like she is a loner with no one in her life, through the end of the novel when she realizes there are indeed people out there that do care and will help her in her time of need. Blomkvist is a womanizer that also wants to see justice served and will do everything in his power to make it happen.
The characters and the mystery of this novel are wonderful, but I also like the crusading part of this novel against sex trafficking, and also against government corruption. It was eye opening and gave me a lot to think about. I am more than a little disturbed that women and young girls are treated in such ways around the world.
The ending was very abrupt and left me wanting more. I can’t wait until I finally get The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest from the library. I’m still on the waiting list.
Overall, if you are looking for a fascinating mystery with intriguing characters and concepts, I highly recommend The Girl Who Played with Fire.
Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library