The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, 13 of 52

Okey Dokey, I polished that one off in 24 hours – I literally could not put it down. That has to give this book a readability of 10! Larsson has really created a wonderful thriller with this story.

In ‘The Girl’ we find out much more about Lisbeth Salander in book 2 and the character of Blomkvist is still a key figure throughout the story. This story was much more about Salander than the first book in the trilogy, and the supporting characters in this story were developed with much more substance than the first book. In the first book ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, Larsson established and created fantastic central characters in Salander and Blomkvist, but I felt the supporting characters failed to engage my imagination too far and let the story down a little.

In contrast this book was packed with a great supporting cast – I know that sounds like I watched a movie not read a book. However, when I read a book, there is a movie happening constantly inside my head – is this normal? This is the reason I have never been able to read Jaws by Peter Benchley – too many horrendous visuals for a shark phobic to cope with. Now I am aware that the visuals that are conjured in my head whilst reading this book are also horrendous – but seem to be able to distance myself psychologically from it.

Back to the book, the rolling character of Faste and other homophobic males throughout the story is interesting – this seems to be key to the story in some way – not least the fleshing out of Salander’s characters sexuality. Sex played a bigger part in the first book than this book, which is likely due to the characters personalities being laid down on paper by Larsson so we could sit back and enjoy the ride. I’m not sure how organised an author is in laying out 3 book plots in advance, but as I reflected in my ‘Dragon’ review Larsson does seem to be a detail fiend. Perhaps he had the whole trilogy planned from the outset and that the first book would be devoted to the explanation and set up of the main characters. The second book would be about Salander and her background and whilst I have no idea about the third book, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was focussed on Blomkvist; but I could be wrong.

My only criticism is the ending. AAARRRGGGHH!!!! I hate books that leave you hanging with unresolved issues. Last year I read Brisingr the third book in the Eragon trilogy thinking it would be the final, but no the author has decided that he needs another book to fully tell the story and this was something I didn’t realise until the very end of the book. This experience was similar in that I had no idea that it would be such a cliff hanger and that I would be desperate to read the third book in order to find out what happened. I know that I have to read the third and final book, but the ending was so abrupt I question whether it was meant to be a trilogy and not just an enormously fat second and final book?

We had Bookclub breakfast on Sunday and Robyn had all 3 books from the trilogy. She advised that you should take the 3 books at once as you will be aching to move onto the next book. She is a wise woman and I should have listened, I confidently said that I would be happy to read a couple of other books between 2 and 3. I now wish I had that final book and hoping that I may get it for Mother’s Day, but also torn as I dont want to waste another 24 hours reading constantly. Mother’s Day is this Sunday in Australia, commercialisation of motherhood, which is perfectly fine by me if I get to spend a lovely day with my children, hubby, Mum and Mum-in-Law and a day off!

Thanks for reading if you got this far….

Readability 10 out of 10

Cant put down rating 10 out of 10 – I seriously could not put it down, I should have been doing the housework, but that never goes away.

Recommend to others 10 out of 10

Do I want to read another book by this author – Yes, I would like to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest…

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