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The exhilarating conclusion to bestseller Larsson's Millennium trilogy (after The Girl Who Played with Fire) finds Lisbeth Salander, the brilliant computer hacker who was shot in the head in the final pages of Fire, alive, though still the prime suspect in three murders in Stockholm. While she convalesces under armed guard, journalist Mikael Blomkvist works to unravel the decades-old coverup surrounding the man who shot Salander: her father, Alexander Zalachenko, a Soviet intelligence defector and longtime secret asset to Sapo, Sweden's security police. Estranged throughout Fire, Blomkvist and Salander communicate primarily online, but their lack of physical interaction in no way diminishes the intensity of their unconventional relationship. Though Larsson (1954-2004) tends toward narrative excess, his was an undeniably powerful voice in crime fiction that will be sorely missed. 500,000 first printing. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* When we last saw Lisbeth Salander, she was teetering between life and death. And who wouldn't be after having been shot by her father and buried alive by her brother? Salander was rescued, at the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009), by journalist Mikael Blomkvist. She's now in a Swedish hospital, slowly mending and awaiting trial for three murders she didn't commit. Meanwhile, her father, a former Soviet spy, is down the hall, recovering from the injuries he sustained when Lisbeth stuck an ax in his head. Blomkvist, Salander's loyal friend, sets out to prove her innocence, but to do so he must expose a decades-old conspiracy within the Swedish secret service that has resulted in, among other travesties, a lifetime of abuse heaped upon Salander, whose very life threatens to expose the deadly charade. The late Larsson (this third novel in his Millennium Trilogy is his final book) can be accused of heaping too much plot between two covers in addition to the Salander story, there is an elaborate subplot involving Blomkvist's lover, Erica, and her travails as the first female editor of a major Stockholm newspaper but he is remarkably agile at keeping multiple balls in the air. But it wouldn't really matter if he weren't a skilled craftsman because Salander is such a bravura heroine steel will and piercing intelligence veiling a heartbreaking vulnerability that we'd willingly follow her through any bramble bush of a plot. She spends more than half of this novel in a hospital bed, but orchestrating the action from her Palm computer, she dominates the stage like Lear. There are few characters as formidable as Lisbeth Salander in contemporary fiction of any kind. She will be sorely missed.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
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The final volume of Larsson's best-selling "Millennium" trilogy begins where The Girl Who Played with Fire left off: Lisabeth Salander lies comatose in a Swedish hospital, a bullet in the head, while a few rooms away her father, a Soviet defector, recovers from the severe axe wounds she inflicted. Meanwhile, journalist Mikael Blomqvist sets out to clear Lisbeth of murder charges by exposing a secret group of Swedish intelligence officers who had conspired to protect her father's identity by nearly destroying Lisbeth. Unfortunately, this crackerjack opening is followed by 100 pages of tedious plot rehashing and dry summaries of Swedish history and politics. Because Larsson's fascinating heroine is offstage for much of the early action, the novel lacks its predecessors' compelling narrative drive, although a few surprising scenes will keep readers hanging in there. Their patience will be well rewarded in the final 200 pages, where Larsson ties his multiple plot threads together into a satisfying conclusion. Larsson's other female characters, including Annika, Mikael's lawyer sister who kicks some serious legal butt at the climactic trial, and Berger, Mikael's old lover and business partner who battles sexism at a major newspaper, play bigger roles here and reflect the author's passionate opposition to misogyny and injustice. Verdict Despite its flaws, this is a must read for Larsson fans. New readers should start with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10; 500,000-copy first printing.]-Wilda Williams, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.