The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – a review

As I’m sure most people will have done on the completion of reading the Millenium Trilogy – I reached the end with mixed emotions.  I thoroughly enjoyed each of the three books in the series, but felt saddened by the loss of the author Stieg Larsson at such a young age.  I felt it appropriate that I should use his image as my graphic for this blog entry.

Stieg Larsson

In the first book, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ it becomes apparent quickly that the author likes a large cast of characters.  It also strikes the reader that the names of Swedish places and characters will take some skill to adapt to.  Once I’d dealt with those minor issues I found myself being drawn into the story and empathising with the main characters in their various tasks and setbacks.

The second story, ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ the action builds rapidly and pulled me in even more easily.  The author feeds the background information in digestible chunks so that sharp memories of the first book come back whilst still reading.  The main characters Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander feel more like old friends as the intrigue deepens and more bad guys seep out of the woodwork.

When I started the third in the series, ‘The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest’ I was immediately impressed by the natural increase of pace from the previous two stories.  It felt as if Stieg Larsson had ramped up the pace with each tale and once again he fed the back story in so that it was easy to understand.  Although I would recommend any of the three books I would suggest reading them all – but in order so as to totally get immersed in the story of Lisbeth Salander (The Girl). As each antagonist was uncovered and Lisbeth’s survival and chance of freedom looked less likely, the story dug deeper into my consciousness.  Lisbeth becomes the prime suspect of a triple murder but she disappears into humanity and begins her own investigation.  Mikael Blomkvist, investigative journalist finds himself once more in danger as he tries to uncover the truth.

The third in the Millenium Trilogy is a rollercoaster of emotion and action but there was an underlaying message to me personally that spoke of man’s injustice to man (and woman), and what happens when too much power is given to the wrong people and they are allowed to abuse it.  The scenes of violence were wonderfully drawn once again but the proceedings in the court will always be a clear memory from this series.  Once again Lisbeth proves that you don’t have to be big to have power or control.

Throughout the series there is no secret that Stieg Larsson had a passionate interest in the welfare of women – whatever their age or circumstance, but in particular he highlighted many of the injustices to women.  He may have used these books and Sweden as his platform but it should be remembered by all that these crimes and others are being committed against women every day all over the world.  That is heartbreaking enough but in many cases, just like in these stories there are crimes being overlooked by those in authority.

Thank you Stieg Larsson for showing us how it’s done.

Your name will live on because of this series.  R.I.P.

4 thoughts on “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – a review

  1. This is such a touching review of this outstanding trilogy, keeping in mind at every sentence the lost of a great author gone too soon. It made me sad to read the story as well, yet the books are so engrossing and like you said each one takes a faster pace than the last so that it becomes impossible to put them down. I don’t know anyone who has read one book and not read the other two. Sometimes I feel that perhaps the author meant to go back and edit the book one more time prior to publishing. My only complaint about this is the unnecessary (in my opinion) time spent in choosing and describing in detail each and every IKEA piece of furniture purchased. I think the story would have been better without all those pages about furniture. I have one more concern about this last book that I don’t want to mention here since it would be telling more of the story that a person who is going to read this would want to know, but we’ll discuss it one day.
    An excellent read all the way around, hitting hard on the system used for orphaned children, the injustices against women, and about the importance of good accurate journalism. A must read!


    1. Thank you for such a kind and comprehensive comment my friend. I agree regarding the furniture and it happened on a couple of areas. In some respects it’s excessive imagery because it doesn’t help the story to move forward, but it’s almost a complimentary sideline to IKEA.
      I felt that the mention of almost every street name and district was also over the top in the chases but it could be a subtle wink to the home market. A lot of Swedes, mainly from Stockholm would take a great deal of pride recognising the areas and streets. Those things aside I totally agree that the series is a ‘must read’. x


  2. I feel the same way… As i read your review, the more i am saddened by the loss of a great novelist. It’s like a personal tragedy to know we can no longer read another book from Larsson… i felt like I was in tears when I was reading the last moment of Blomkvist and Salander in the book..,,


    1. Hi Jacklyn   Thank you for the visit and kind comment.  I’ve had a quick look over your Millennium blog posts and I’ll be back later to leave you a comment.  I wouldn’t consider reading anything in a continuing series by somebody else because like you I believe the true stories of all the characters were in Stieg’s head – nobody else could continue it properly. 


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