The Girl Who Played With Fire – a review

This is the second story in the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson and for me was an even more impressive piece of storytelling than the first, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.

Sweden - featuring Stockholm at east side (bulge at bottom right)

For this review I’ve decided on two graphics; a map of Sweden which gives a clear idea of how much access there is to it’s border’s from land and sea, followed by a map of Europe to define more clearly where Sweden is situated on the continent.

The story highlights the sex trafficking trade along with the peripheral violence, blackmail, degradation, and intrigue that are associated with such a despicable practice.  Millenium magazine features once again and Mikael Blomkvist, investigative journalist is at the centre of the action as he agrees to assist in the publishing of a book which will expose high ranking officials, police officers and others who are involved with the logistics of the trafficking, or the abuse of the ‘imported’ women themselves.

The author of the book is murdered as is his girlfriend and also the legal guardian of Lisbeth Salander (The Girl).  A weapon is found which connects the murders and a fingerprint connects Lisbeth to the weapon.  She disappears as a national hunt is mounted to arrest her for the triple murder.  The authorities are quickly convinced that it is a straightforward mulitple murder and set out to capture their prime suspect, but alongside the police investigation the team at Millenium magazine set up their own investigation based on the information in the soon to be published book.  Mikael Blomkvist discovers along the way some things he never knew about Lisbeth.  Whilst avoiding capture, Lisbeth conducts her investigations in her own inimitable fashion with sometimes humorous and other times disturbing results.

Europe - featuring Sweden (green section at top centre)

Once again Mr. Larsson gradually introduces a seemingly endless cast of characters, but as previously the key people in the story are larger than life and stand out easily from the crowd.  Like the first in the series I found this story hugely entertaining and I now look forward to reading the third and final part, ‘The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest’.