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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

Currently reading

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Audio)
Gabriel García Márquez, John Lee

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy) - Stieg Larsson

It doesn't feel quite right to do a review of this book separate from The Girl Who Played With Fire, since Hornet's Nest picks up right where the previous book left off and provides the second half of the story. But I will try.

One of the things I enjoy about reading books from countries other than my own is catching glimpses of cultural differences. I wonder if Swedes really drink as much coffee as Larsson's characters do. I'd never be able to sleep in Sweden!

So Lisbeth Salander is in rough shape when this novel begins, and her situation involves a decades-long conspiracy perpetrated by a rogue faction within the Swedish secret police. Fortunately, Salander has more allies than she ever could have dreamed of, including journalist Mikael Blomkvist, his sister Advokat Annika Giannini, security specialist Dragan Armansky, an international cadre of computer hackers, and even some police officers and government officials. The plotting is intricate, with many characters and motives to keep track of, but I found it to be a fun ride.

After I posted my four-star review of The Girl Who Played With Fire, I was surprised to see that an author whose work I enjoy had given it a one-star review. A couple of things that he was grumpy about were the sheer number of woman-hating male characters as well as Blomkvist's quality of being irresistible to women. I could kind of see his point on both counts, but I guess I was willing to suspend my disbelief on these areas. There was even a point where Blomkvist himself seemed to lampshade his babe-magnet quality and poke fun at it a bit. (Since Larssen himself had been a journalist and magazine editor, there might have been a touch of wish fulfillment.)

There were a couple of places where I was pulled out of the story. One was that Salander conveyed some vital information to Berger over the phone, and then Berger passed the message on to Blomkvist, because Salander did not have the number to his other (non-tapped phone). But later on, one of the antagonists know where and when Blomkvist and Berger are dining that evening because of the tap on Berger's phone. Since Berger's phone was tapped, I'd have expected the baddies to have been aware of the Salander-Berger-Blomkvist communication. The other place has to do with a precarious situation that Salander finds herself in near the end of the book. Without giving away the details, I will note that I anticipated the particular danger she faced in that scene, and would have expected Salander to have at least realized that the location had that potential. That said, I was able to let those things slide and found the resolution satisfying, though I wish the final scene had lasted a few pages more. I will miss these characters!