Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire

Author: Stieg Larsson

Date Finished: 30/05/12

Re-Read? : Second time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

Just wow!  This is the second time I have read this book and I cannot believe I enjoyed it so much again.  It is the second in Stieg Larsson’s world-famous Millennium Trilogy, preceded by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and followed by The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest.  I read the whole trilogy in summer 2010 and enjoyed it tremendously so that is why I am reading it again.

I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for the second time last December and I enjoyed it, but did not read it as compulsively as the first time.  I think this was probably due to it essentially being a murder mystery, and I knew the ending.  However it was still brilliant.  I decided to wait a while before reading the second book again, and somehow it got to May before I did.

The plot in this is book is PHENOMENAL!  I was so surprised to find myself completely hooked the second time even though I had read it before.  That shows how intricate and unpredictable this plot is.  There are so many brilliant storylines and extra details, which I got to notice more this time (the power of the re-read).  This is so much more than a thriller.  I know my Dad has issues with the trilogy being ‘unrealistic’ but I really couldn’t care less if it’s quite an improbable situation – it is addictive and brilliant and sometimes that’s more important than feasibility.

In terms of characters this book is also stands out, although this does apply to the whole trilogy and not this volume in particular.  Lisbeth Salander is one of the most iconic characters I think the world has even seen.  She is totally unique.  The most unlikely heroine possible is the one we cheer on the most.  Other characters are extremely well crafted too and all of them are interesting.  You find yourself violently defending Salaner, Modig, Blomkvist, Berger, Armansky and many more who become the objects of speculation and scrutiny.

The prose is supremely well written in this trilogy.  However, we are in the situation of a work-in-translation again.  Reg Keeland (real name Stephen T. Murray) is responsible for the translation from Swedish to English and he should be highly praised as it retains all its Swedish heart and uses very good English.  I loved reading the Swedish names of people and places and now I am considering adding the Scandinavian countries to my mental list of future places to visit.  Will there be anywhere that I don’t want to go to left?

To conclude, I would seriously recommend this trilogy to anyone, although if you do not like gore and unpleasant content, then maybe not.  So well thought out, you will be guessing until the very end.  I cannot emphasise how amazing the plot is enough.

Have any of you read this trilogy? What did you think?