With its powerful images of rape and revenge, Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy has made a major impact on the contemporary crime novel. This collection explores the role that rape plays in contemporary crime fiction, examining the sexually violent images at the heart of the Millennium trilogy in its many guises – from novels, to Swedish film adaptations, to Hollywood blockbuster. At the centre of discussion is Larsson's female heroine, Lisbeth Salander, one of popular culture's most unforgettable characters. The collection evaluates her status as a twenty-first century heroine, arguing that what makes Salander so interesting and culturally relevant, is her blend of vulnerability and violence.
Putting Larsson's work into dialogue with a range of contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone crime novelists, including Jo Nesbø, Håkan Nesser, Mo Hayder and Val McDermid, these essays offer cross-cultural insights into how notions of sexual violence, victims and vengeance are constructed. Opening up a range of vital new questions, the book interrogates the very terms by which we understand and encounter violent images in popular fiction and film.