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.
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.