Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposeé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.
Blomkvist returns from Hedstad, where he spent most of the first book in this series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I reviewed here), and tries to return to his normal life as a journalist at a small but mighty monthly journal. However, he can't find the girl he worked with in Hedstad, Lisbeth Salander.
Salander has left the country, and especially Blomkvist. The point of her trip surprised me buts I guess it made her seem more like a real person who maybe didn't want to stay as anti-social as she had been before. The rest of her adventure out of the country was interesting, but did not play a role in the main action of the book.
Media chaos ensues. The media circus surrounding the murders and search for Salander sounded like what could, and probably does, happen here in America. The media takes little bits given from the police and jumps to conclusions and sensationalizes the 'facts' based on little evidence.
Blomkvist, while still grieving for his lost friends and scrambling to change the journal issue before going for publication, becomes convinced that Salander is innocent and begins his search for her. Salander is incredibly difficult to track. Along the way, we learn more about Lisbeth's past.
I found the beginning of The Girl who Played with Fire to be really slow and many things to be rather irrelevant to the plot. However, the second half of the book was exciting and suspenseful. I recommend this book for a very good story, as long as you are willing to drag through some of the slower parts. Plus, the book ends right in the middle of action which makes you want to start the third book right away. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly creates a lot of suspense!
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars