I almost gave up on this book several times before the plot finally started moving about 1/3 in. In those pages were many completely extraneous characters (George Blunt, Helen Vanger), irrelevant action, and unnecessary details. Does the reader really need to know, in exquisite detail, how a journalist's contract was negotiated? Did the events during the hurricane explain anything about the rest of the book? I had no idea why I was being bored to death with these. I will admit that any scene with Lisbeth in it is inherently entertaining, but at some point the reader wants some assurance that there is a point to the action. In Larsson's first book, the central mystery is established much earlier.
Once the police investigation starts, the pace of the book picks up considerably, although Lisbeth is completely missing from many chapters. Finally at this point, Blomkvist has a purpose in life and gets to more than sit in a board room and play administrative head games.
Like the previous book, Larsson confuses the reader by overusing "B" names, and the geography can be a little hard to follow. These are small inconveniences. The action (when it finally develops) is good, and Lisbeth reveals even more amazing, if improbable, physical and intellectual ability.
This series would make an excellent graphic novel.
What a ride, couldn't put the book down. Even better than the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Can't wait to read the last book in the trilogy
Now that I've finished two of the three books in the series, reading the third one will be bittersweet. Many of the characters are the same as in "Dragon Tattoo" but with more development. Blomkvist is not the center but the story couldn't be told without him. Salander becomes more intense (if that's possible) than in the previous book. The scenes jump around in the greater Stockholm area and the reader feels the temperature, wind, bumpy roads and terror with each character. Just like the last book, it's very much a page-turner.
One word of advice: don't read this one until you've read the first book. Although it stands alone, it's much more meaningful if read in chronological order. Be prepared if you read before you go to bed to end up tired the next morning because it's a "can't put down" kind of book!
The second installment in the "Girl" trilogy is just as thrilling as the first. Lisabeth Salander is one of the most interesting characters to come along in quite awhile. This time she is accused of three murders and is on the run. So much is packed into these books. Each character is revealed slowly with all their flaws and humanity (or lack of it). This edition contained the first chapter of "Hornet's Nest" and, believe me, you will want to read that chapter immediately after you've finished "Fire". Larsson had intended to write10 books in the series. What a shame he died after finishing only 3.
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.