From the author's website: Lisbeth Salander is wanted for a triple murder. All three victims are connected to a trafficking exposé about to be published in Mikael Blomqvist’s magazine Millenium, and Lisbeth’s fingerprints are on the weapon.
Lisbeth vanishes to avoid capture by the justice. Mikael, not believing the police, is despairingly trying to clear her name, using all his resources and the staff of his magazine. During this process, Mikael discovers Lisbeth’s past, a terrible story of abuse and traumatizing experiences growing up in the Swedish care system.
When he eventually finds her, it’s only to discover that she is far more entangled in his initial investigation of the sex industry than he could ever imagine.
Larrson has done it again. He crafted a mystery that kept me on the hook until nearly the end. Like the last book this one started a little slow because the author needs to lay out such a large cast of characters. Sometimes it was difficult for me to figure out who was who and I wondered if that was, in part, because their Swedish names were so unfamiliar to me perhaps if they had been Smith and Brown and Jones I might have had an easier time. But it's more likely just an indication of how complicated the plot was. I like the heroine, Lisbeth. She's in some ways a female James Bond - she just handles anything that gets thrown at her. I again found the Berger sexual triangle an unnecessary distraction but I was able to just ignore it. Lisbeth's sexual history was more integral to the story and while a little edgy at times not anything that went so far as to make me uncomfortable. I have promised the book to my 75 year old mother next and wonder what she will think of it all! (On a side note it makes me remember one year when I was a teenager and we were book sharing at the beach. Mom finished up her turn with Scruples one afternoon, closed the book, looked at me and said, "Well, you're done reading this one." How fast do you think I was out searching for my own copy?)
So, The Girl Who Played with Fire lived up to my hopes - such a treat for a "second" in a trilogy. No, it was not as good as the first one but it was still very good. Not nearly as bad as it could have been (think Twilight then New Moon). The final book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest comes out in May in hardcover - no telling how long I will have to wait to buy the paperback but I am looking forward to it. I'm musing about the title already. The Girl Who Played with Fire makes perfect sense now that I have read the book and I am wondering how Hornet's fits in with Lisbeth's "business" Wasp Enterprises?
Guess what? This wasn't for any challenges - it was just for fun!