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The final lap, but not as good as the first
on 6 September 2013
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest completes the Salander/Blomqvist trilogy and draws the strands together. While it isn't essential to have read The Girl Who Played With Fire or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo a new reader may find some of the plot a little baffling in the early stages if they haven't, before the back stories start to kick in.
Salander is to stand trial for attempted murder, GBH and other things, and a secretive group in the Secuurity Police would rather that didn't happen. Once again Salander's friends are needed to help her despite herself. This time she is severely hampered by being locked up in a hospital for much of the story. A lot of the plot relies on Salander's computer hacking skills, and were it not for those the story just wouldn't work as the secrets couldn't otherwise be exposed. One can only hope that there aren't too many real Salanders out there reading our computer hard drives and e-mails (or is it all just bunkum?).
The problem of too much unnecessary detail and too much repetition that I identified in The Girl Who Played With Fire are repeated here so grit your teeth if you, like me, find that annoying.
The story reaches its climax in a courtroom drama, or does it? There is one loose end to tie up, which Larson does by way of an epilogue.
There is one major flaw in this book. A sub plot involving Erika Berger, Blomqvist's part time lover and Editor-in-Chief at Millennium magazine. It adds nothing to the story and serves only as a distraction. I guess Larsson had some purpose in telling it, but I'm baffled by what that might be. If you skip through it you won't miss anything important.
It is a pity that Stieg Larsson died before his books were published. Had he lived he might have read the proofs and decided to make a few changes for the better. However, once I started reading I couldn't help but staying to the final full stop.