The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson
12 October, 2010
I really should have read this straight after finishing The Girl Who Played With Fire. But I was distracted by other books and didn’t get to it until a couple of months later. In a way, you lose some of your reading momentum so it took a lot longer to finish it. But as usual, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest delivered. It was relentless in keeping the suspense and I have to say that I felt apprehensive the whole time I was reading, wishing that nothing worse would happen to Lisbeth Salander. For of course, as many of you may know, Salander is what keeps readers coming back to the Millennium Trilogy.
Personally, I would have preferred it if she wasn’t so battered and put through the grind so often whilst retaining all her cool skills, but I guess that is what makes her vulnerable/strong dichotomy so irresistible. And Larsson does a magnificent job in creating truly evil characters cloaked in the air of venerability and office. The Sweden he writes about is a really frightening place. Especially since he layers the bad bits with the genuine warmth of Mikael Blomkvist’s family and friends. I kind of liked the naiveté interlaced with the hard-nosed journalistic worldview. And I also liked the strong female characters that populate his books.
In The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest, we finally meet Dr. Teleborian who was instrumental in locking Salander up when she was twelve, after her failed attempt on her father’s life. Salander is slowing recovering in hospital and she is set to go on trial for murder. She is under close observation and has no access to the internet. Frightening thought. Salander without net access is akin to her without a lifeline. Sweden’s secret service (Säpo) and a sinister splinter cell within the organisation are preparing to silence Salander forever. However, Blomkvist is determined to save his friend and rounds up Salander’s supporters to plan a strategy that will protect and release Salander from this nightmare. Will he be able to save Salander? And will she be able to thwart Dr. Teleborian’s plans to get her under his control once again? You’ll need to read this book to find out^^ You can be sure that Salander’s not going to be sitting idly letting everyone save her ass.
I have to admit that the final volume of the Millennium Trilogy felt long. It took me a while to get into the story, even though I was dying to know what was going to happen. The first two volumes had more mystery and was more fast-paced and physical whereas this one tied together all threads started in The Girl Who Played With Fire and had less action. As with the previous book, it could have done with a bit more editing. There’s only so much explanation about government offices you can handle. And I wanted to know more about Salander’s twin sister. But, saying that, I did stay up ’til 3am to finish the book which I hadn’t done in a long time. All in all, I really enjoyed this series and Larsson knows how to deliver a very satisfying conclusion.