Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest

Author: Stieg Larsson

Date Finished: 30/10/12

Re-Read? : Second time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

What a brilliant re-read!  I last read this book in July 2010 and thought it was amazing.  I had read the whole trilogy in quick succession and decided I would re-read them 18 months ish later.  I did read book 1, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in December 2011 but I decided to space out the other two – I read The Girl Who Played With Fire in May 2012 and then this one in October.  I am already thinking about when I will next re-read them all…probably not till at least 18 months from now.

I will be quite surprised if you have not read at least the first book of this trilogy or maybe seen the film, as they have been so popular over the past few years.  This is for a good reason – they really are amazing.  The plot is stunning and kept me hooked despite it being a re-read.  Larsson really knows how to tell a gripping story and can think up so many twists and turns that you just never expect.  This book focuses on Lisbeth’s time in hospital and her trial and so isn’t as action packed as the first and second books.  However, this isn’t a problem as Larsson manages to achieve lots of action through other characters anyway.

The characterisation is completely unique.  Lisbeth Salander has to be one of the most unforgettable and interesting characters ever created, indeed on the cover of my copy, Boyd Tonkin writes ‘the most original heroine to have emerged in crime fiction for many years‘.  I totally agree.  Blomkvist can be a bit annoying and seems quite unrealistic, but all the other characters are brilliant.  Larsson takes time to give context and a backstory to every single character and it definitely works, as I remembered even minor characters from my first reading.

The Swedish setting is another plus for me – I love reading all the Swedish names and roads/districts etc.  It’s really interesting for me, as I have never been to Scandinavia but I do fancy the idea of living there in the future.  Larsson (or Reg Keeland, the translator) has amazing prose, especially for a crime novel – this genre sometimes lacks a good overall writing style and focuses on plot.  It is easy to read but still sophisticated.  Powering through the majority 746 page book in 2 weeks shows it must be easy to read.

Overall I cannot recommend this trilogy enough.  I know many of you have read it anyway, but if not just get a copy of the first book and give it a go!  Happy Reading  🙂