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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson

The girl who kicked the hornets nest

The highly anticipated final instalment of the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, is finally here. I savour the book very slowly as this will be last book of the series. 😦

The book begins where The Girl Who Played With Fire ends, Lisbeth Salander is badly injured with a bullet in her head and her shoulder, and Zalachenko is in a ward few steps away from her, and murderer Niedermann is at loose and cannot be traced.  Under police guard, she is allowed contact with only her surgeon Dr. Jonasson, and her lawyer, Blomkvist’s sister Gianinni. But Mikael (Kalle) Blomvist is waging war in Lisbeth’s corner to free her from the government institutions, the Special Analysis section of Sapo (Sakerhetspolisen – Sweden Internal Security (SIS)) and the care system who conspires to lock her up in the mental institution; to silence the misdeeds committed by the Section 30 years ago in helping Russian spy Zalachenko to defect to Sweden in 1976.

My detailed blog entry from The Girl Who Played With Fire comes in useful here when trying to recall the names that crop up in this final book again, and many new names that subsequently appeared requires super memory to remember all of them! Bublanski and Sonja Modig are still working on the case, and both believe that Salander is innocent. Blomkvist and Armansky are working together to prove Salander’s innocence. Faste, Solicitor Ekstrom, Teleborian are all working for the special section to put Salander behind bar. The people involved behind the decision is revealed at the very beginning, SIS old guards Evert Gullberg and Frederick Clinton are back in control to solve the biggest crisis of Sapo since the cold war, and Albert Shenke , the chief of Secretariat of the SIS, has to take a backstage while the old guards make all the decisions and will do what it takes to eliminate anyone that prevent the cover-up, even Blomkvist’s life.

The Salander case also draws the attention of Superintendent Torsten Edklinth from the Constitutional Protection unit who has a duty to report to the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister about his findings. Edklinth instructed Monica Figuerola to investigate and in the process became fast friend with Blomkvist.

Erika Berger, editor of magazine Millennium, close friend of Blomkvist, has troubles in her hands. Ever since moving to Svenska Morgon-Posten (SMP) newspaper, she received threats and sexual explicit emails, and stalked by someone who broke into her house and took stuff of “personal nature”. Berger is also caught in a dilemma of asking the Chairman of SMP Magnus Borgsjo to resign from the Board due to his unethical business practices. Susan Linder, security guard from Milton Security came to the rescue and Salander tipped off Berger of the identity of the culprit. Salander, while in hospital, has managed to gain access to the World Wide Web. Will she talk about her life ordeals to the authority? Would she co-operate with the police to prove her innocence? Read the book to find out!

Rating: 4/5

The Millenium trilogy have been enthralling so far. Larsson had weaved a complicated conspiracy and painstakingly described the events in utmost details. He demonstrated in every possible opportunities how women are mistreated by men throughout the book. The female characters in the series are all exceptional strong characters and who defend justice or refuse to be the victim. A new section is open with a small paragraph about ancient unrecorded history of women warriors, notably in Amazon. The suspense in the series holds my attention from beginning to the end. I found the first book harrowing but intriguing, the second my personal favourite, the third a little predictable. The first book you can read it very much on its own, the second and final books are intertwined. I would have love to see Blomkvist and Salander actually spend more time together instead of exchanging chats and emails! I especially like the last passage:

She looked at him for a moment and realised that she now had no feelings for him. At least not those kind of feelings. He had in face been a good friend to her over the past year. She trusted him. Maybe. It was troubling that one of the few people she trusted was a man she spent so much time avoiding.

Then she made up her mind. It was absurd to pretend that he did not exist. It no longer hurt her to see him. She opened the door wide and let him into her life again. 

The series was a joy to read. However, in the final book, Larsson has the tendency to repeat stuff. As the events unfold, there are less surprises in the book because the intention of the wrong doers were expressed well before the rest of the world found out about it. The court drama is a little flimsy. The translation less than perfect; nevertheless, one of the most entertaining crime fiction read there is out there.

To get another perspective of the book and also my favourite review of the book see : Reactions to Reading’s review of the same book.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


3 thoughts on “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson

  1. I loved this trilogy in spite of some of the flaws. It reminded me a bit of early LeCarre books, only these are even more complicated. I loved the ending of the 3rd book too! Although I did think the being in love bit with Figuerola was odd. We never learned much about her, and they didn’t seem to have much of anything in common. Maybe more would come out if there were a volume four. Isn’t it sad there won’t be more?

    Posted by rhapsodyinbooks | November 17, 2009, 2:36 pm
    • Hi Jill,
      It is sad there is no volume 4 to look forward to, isn’t it? The love bit with Figuerola left a bad taste in my mouth as well, like you I was put off by the idea… I wish Salander the best of luck in her new life!

      Hi Bernadette, I am sure that 3 volumes of the series are sitting pretty on your book shelves waiting for you to pick them up again one day, Red, Blue, Green.. and I like book 2 cover best too! 🙂

      Posted by jovenus | November 18, 2009, 9:20 pm
  2. Glad you enjoyed it, I think the third one is my favourite actually but some days I think book 2 is better. I am definitely sad that it’s all over but I think it’s a series I will re-read one day. Thanks for the link 🙂

    Posted by bernadetteinoz | November 18, 2009, 8:25 am

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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