Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire is the second book in Stieg Larsson's Millenium series, and it's just as good as the first one (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). In some ways it's better, because we already know and care about some of the characters, Lisbeth Salander in particular--the final half of the book is partly driven by the reader's urge to find out what the mystery will reveal about Lisbeth and what happened to her when she was twelve.

The main mystery is who murdered the author of a book about sexual trafficking and his wife, whose graduate thesis provided the basis for the book. Lisbeth's fingerprints are on the murder weapon, so the police launch a massive manhunt for her, and Mikael Blomkvist sets out to prove her innocence.

There are some real surprises in the last half of the novel, showing me how far from formulaic this mystery is. The title is surprisingly apt, in the end, although you won't know just how apt until you get there.

This novel will be released in the U.S. in July 2009, although it's already available in English from the U.K. I got to read an advance copy, courtesy of the kind manager at the Kenyon College bookstore. And now I have a long wait for the third one, which will not be available in English until 2010.

But I don't regret having read the first two, even though I have to wait. It's like when I saved one of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries for a while, so I still had one to look forward to. These two novels rank among the best mystery novels I've ever read. If you like mysteries at all, you will want to read these. You can get the first one today. What are you waiting for?

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I love mysteries, and I loved The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The drumming sound you hear is my fingernails on the desk, waiting for July!