I seem to have been on an unintentional reading break lately. I do a lot of my reading on the train to and from work and have had a few days off, away in Istanbul, which is a bustling and colourful place to visit but not much time for reading.. Anyway, it’s great to have finished one of the many books I have on the go and to be able to write about it.
The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy is just as entertaining as the first The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth Salander, the highly intelligent, gutsy, independant heroine is back. A lot of the story is based around Lisbeth which I enjoyed as she is the main attraction for me in these stories.
The story opens with Lisbeth who following on from events at the end of the last story, is on holiday in the Carribean. We learn what she has been doing for the past few months and are reminded of her complete intolerance of abuse against women as she becomes involved in a domestic situation between a husband and wife staying at the same hotel.
Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist from the first book is also back and assisting with an investigation into sex trafficking. Known for a previous high profile investigation that had gone wrong, this story again threatens to expose people in the highest echelons of society.
Then there is a murder and it comes as a complete shock to Blomkvist when Lisbeth Salander is the prime suspect. As she disappears, he and the police are not the only ones desparate to find her and the race is on.
So what is the appeal with these books? I think for me they are total escapist entertaining reading. Lisbeth Salander is unique and aspects of her are appealing – a 40kg, boxing, motorbike riding computer wiz who takes no prisoners. The writing is a little cheesy at times and over detailed in parts. This doesn’t bother me but it is noticeable. The theme of abuse against women is central again. From a pure reading enjoyment point of view, it would be good to have a different theme in the third book but I’m suspecting there won’t be. This is obviously a topic that was important to Stieg Larsson.
I’m looking forward to the final book – available in hardback in 67 days! I’m going to hang on though for the paperback – I find hardbacks a bit bulky and am also aware that there will be no more after this one.. 0:(
Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland