The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played with FireTranslated by Reg Keeland
Mikael Blomkvist and the staff of the Millenium journal are approached by a young man wanting them to publish his articles and book. He has been investigating the sex slave trade in Sweden. His girlfriend is working on her doctorate in social work about the women involved in prostitution and the sex slave trade. (Prostitution is legal in Sweden, slavery isn’t.) The two have found amazing information about the corruption in the trade. Millenium is the type of journal that watches for corruption and scandal, the perfect platform for Dag’s research. There is still research to be finished and sources to be interviewed but his story is almost together. He would like Millenium to help with financial backing while he finishes his investigations. Blomkvist knows a good story when he sees one. The Millenium takes the man on, adding more stories of their own that will be published in a special edition of the journal.
Lisbeth Salander is adjusting to her new life. She had always had to scramble for money in this first quarter century of her life. Now she is set for the rest of her life. After first getting the fortune she set up her funds, then traveled around the world wherever took her fancy. Then she returns to Stockholm and sets herself up in a luxurious hidey hole. She is blackmailing a man who raped her to be declared competent to care for herself. Every once in a while she checks on him.
Although Salander knows the man hates her, she doesn’t realize how much. He starts investigating her. That starts people checking into her, into Blomkvist, and even into the sex slave story. When Dag and his girlfriend are murdered in their apartment, Salander is accused. Then the man she blackmailed is found dead, killed execution style. Now there is a public outcry and a manhunt is started. Salander is accused of being a murderer and much more. Somehow her private history has been leaked to the newspapers. She is the most wanted person in Sweden.
The Girl Who Played With Fire is a hard hitting, fast paced novel that is phenomenal. While there are no rape scenes in this book, it is still harsh and visual. It is full of hidden agendas and conspiracies. It opens with a young girl tied up on a bed with nothing around her except a man who will come in, look at her, and leave again. It ends with a bullet in someone’s head.
Stieg Larsson’s novel is gritty and realistic – not for everybody. The characters are imperfect, making them more believable. It’s not always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Even the main characters are questionable at times. While this book follows The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, it is not necessary to read the first one. It is necessary to read the last one, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest to get this full story.
Notice: Graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations