Week 4: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

I finished reading this late last night, or really early this morning. Despite having a long day at work and school with a lack of sleep the night before, I could not bring myself to go to bed until this book was finished. That shows how good it is.

This book shifts the series’ focus almost completely to Lisbeth. In Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, we had more insight into Mikael Blomkvist’s character. Fire has him somewhat less prominent without being missed.

One thing that really bothered me was toward the beginning of the book, where Bjurman is thinking to himself about his blackmail situation. He’s thinking over what he did to Salander with no remorse whatsoever, even though he knows that what he did was wrong and that it could ruin his life. Okay, fine, we already established that he’s a world-class asshole. His reason for why it started is bothersome.

He was turned on by Salander in ways that he couldn’t explain, as she is not his usual type of woman. This would be more acceptable if that thought didn’t also cross the minds of Blomkvist and Armansky. It strikes me as odd that three men who would before not give a woman like Salander a second look are suddenly attracted to her.

Besides, that, I found the rest of the story to be interesting and enjoyable. I couldn’t help but laugh sometimes at some of the cops during the extensive investigation. Only two of them seemed to be in their right minds, more interested in solving the investigation and following it down whatever path it may have led. The rest of them, so sure that they knew Salander was behind the crimes at hand could not be convinced of otherwise (despite the little evidence against her), that focused more on finding her. Then there was a media circus surrounding the cases, that somehow turned a triple murder into the story of a lesbian satanist cult. I’m willing to guess that there was a heavy amount of social commentary on the author’s part in this part of the story, without knowing enough about the social climate of Sweden.

Finally, a lot was revealed about Salander’s backstory. It was certainly worse than anything I could have imagined. I can’t wait to see what else will be revealed in book #3.

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