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on 21 December 2017
What makes a book into a runaway success? The Girl Who Played with Fire is a triumph: it grabs you from the word go and holds you tight until the last page. It repeats, possibly surpasses, the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in the Millennium trilogy. I expect that the third one will be equally irresistible.
So let’s see what the main ingredients are.
Firstly, there is the utterly mesmerising heroine, Lisbeth Salander. She is a walking contradiction. A damaged and vulnerable woman in the big bad world; a mathematical genius; painfully antisocial; brutally uncompromising, but also highly principled and moral. Immoral… I could go on. She is absorbing. She draws you into her psyche, but only as far and as deep as Larsson allows you to go. And then you hit a brick wall, and you must tunnel your way through to her past, to what makes her tick.
Secondly, all other characters are fleshed out, living and breathing, preoccupied with their own agendas. Their paths cross and intersect; then diverge, only to align again. The narrative perspective shifts between them rapidly, but they are so distinct and so well drawn that you will never get them confused. The relations between them are complex and multi-layered.
Thirdly, the plot is a masterpiece. Seemingly unrelated events feed into each other like tributaries of the violent, unbridled storyline-river. Deeply-seeded secrets are alluded to at first, then slowly teased out of the characters’ past.
Fourthly, the prose flows easily, unobstructed. It is subservient to the plot and characterisation. It never takes the driver’s seat. You don’t feel the burden of reading – instead, you just absorb the story through your skin.
Fifthly, the background knowledge is impressive. You know you’re dealing with an expert. Whether he is taking about computer hacking, weapons or publishing procedures, Larsen knows his stuff.
Lastly, you are on Salander’s side. She has to win. Good has to triumph. The lines between right and wrong are clearly drawn. That’s not to say that Larsen is politically correct in his portrayal of Salander and her methods. All that matters is that your gut instinct tells you that she is damn-right and so you read on, rooting for her to the bitter end.
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on 18 December 2017
I’ve been aware of these books for years, but the title of the first put me off and I never considered reading them. Having been given ‘The girl with the dragon tattoo’ for free I reluctantly read it. I was hooked. I loved the story. It grips you and doesn’t let go until the end of the book. The second book is even better. It is painful at times and difficult to read. I got so emotionally tied up with the characters that I grieved and felt real loss and hurt at times for them. Have just downloaded the third book and am about to start. If you have any hesitation about reading this and feel it is not your kind of book...don’t. Best series I’ve read for years.
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on 15 January 2018
Excellent follow up to Dragon Tattoo, probably excels it in my view. Larsson had a superb writing style and a way of making you really care what happens to all his characters, so unveiling the background to Lisbeth's past life works really well as this book goes along, together with further developing her off beat partnership with Mikael Blomqvist. Gripping and intense, plot moves along swiftly with lots of intertwined threads that come together in unexpected ways- a little too much graphic violence for my taste in some parts which is why I didn't give it 5 stars, but none the less highly recommended. Sad that he was unable to write more than this Trilogy before he passed away.
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on 10 December 2017
After reading the Dragon Tattoo, i was hoping for a book of equal addictive suspense and intrigue, well for the first time ever as far as i can remember I've actually come across a sequel that has excelled the first in a series. This book deserves more than 5 stars. Couldn't put it down towards the last 50% of the book. As they say one heck of a rollercoaster ride.
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on 18 January 2018
I'd heard good things about the millennium trilogy of books starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I got the kindle book. I wasn't disappointed and soon moved onto this book, the story continued and was even more gripping than the first book. So well written and great characters. Looking forward to the final instalment now.
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on 14 December 2017
I've come late to this trilogy but found I couldn't put it down. Now on the third of the series. Interesting the way it is written with so much background and detail because of the author's knowledge of investigative journalism.
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on 19 October 2017
Not really my usual choice I enjoyed reading it as it was a different story line to what I normally read or listen to. I would recomend this Book to others who like this type of story .
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on 15 October 2017
I felt that a great crime story and plot were spoilt by too much deviant sex at the beginning and too much violence. Maybe a more recent generation would not be so easily put-off.
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on 22 December 2017
One of the best thrillers read in a long time. Very well constructed, not once did I feel the need to skip pages. Held me right to end and felt pleasure at the ending. AW - Ramsey
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on 4 October 2017
Hang on in there, every page reveals a little more. AA great story, that's hard to out down. If you love a really good mystery, then this is what you want to read.
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