Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars It's that girl again!, 30 Mar. 2013
This review is from: The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy Book 2) (Paperback)
A year has passed since the end of the first novel, and Lisbeth Salander is in the Caribbean.
Why? Well, she has come into some money and is taking a holiday - but that is not what I mean. My question is - why has Larsson put her there? There seems to be no reason for the episode, so I suppose I shall just have to wait until book three to discover if the trip has any purpose in the greater scheme of things.
Actually, I don't really care because by now I'm so in love with Lisbeth that I want to know everything about her. Anything she does therefore has a purpose. It's crazy, this love. Lisbeth is not my type at all: I'm not very fond of tattoos, especially when they are large and conspicuous; and I'm no fan of body piercings either. On top of that, Lisbeth's morality and lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired in my view.
Well, that was my view. However, Played with Fire is a lot about confronting one's own prejudices and seeing them for what they are - just prejudices. Lisbeth Salander is really a very moral person, surprising perhaps given the way society has treated her, and in this second book of the trilogy we get a much deeper insight into her character and motivation.
Friends of Mikael Blomkvist, Dag and Mia, are victims of a hit killing. The couple have been investigating a criminal gang involved in under-age prostitution and people trafficking, and are on the point of publishing their findings in Blomkvist's Millennium magazine. Tied up somehow in this unsavoury business are Salander's father, her legal guardian and members of the Swedish security services.
Suspected of murder, Lisbeth goes into hiding and uses her uncanny computer skills to uncover the truth. Supported on the outside by Blomkvist, who believes in her innocence, she delves into events of her own past for clues as to the identity and whereabouts of the mastermind behind the killings. The way she deals with the thugs sent to eliminate her is inspiring and I had to lay down the book to laugh and applaud.
But for all her courage and resourcefulness, Lisbeth is only too human. Indeed, it is probably her weaknesses as well as her strengths that make her lovable. In confronting a powerful international gangster and his homicidal bodyguard, she overestimates her abilities and puts herself in mortal danger. Only Blomkvist can help, but can he reach Lisbeth in time?
From a literary point of view, Played with Fire has flaws. Once again, the frequent change of viewpoint can be bewildering, and Larsson expends, in my view, too much time developing the background of too many minor characters. And there are those questions: the Caribbean episode? Camilla? - seemingly irrelevant but waiting perhaps to be explained in the third book.
Still, since when were thrillers meant to be literary fiction? The Girl and her exploits work for me!
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