05 September, 2015

#BookReview :: The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy #2) by Stieg Larsson

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

Lisbeth and Mikael are back in the fiery second instalment of the trilogy. I liked the first book in the series, and this time around the question on my mind was not whether the book will live up to its hype or not but whether I would enjoy it at least as much as I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Mikael lives on, thanks to Lisbeth’s help in the first book, and makes sure to shake up things for some important people by doing what he does best – investigative journalism. This time he plans to write a report on sex trafficking operations between Eastern Europe and Sweden which involves a lot of big names. But two reporter wound up dead with all fingers pointing towards Lisbeth as the killer. Mikael soon discovers that he may be the only one who believes in Lisbeth’s innocence and must do everything in his power to clear her name and return her favour. With Lisbeth in danger and her past catching up to her, will this duo be able to repeat their magical performance? And, in time?

What do I say about Lisbeth? She is one strong woman! I love her and admire her. With the things that she has had to deal with in her life, she could have turned out to be a completely different person. Yet she is what she is and you cannot help but admire her for it. I also love the extreme emotions that she evokes in people. They either love her or they hate her – she makes it impossible to be indifferent about her. Mikael on the other hand continues to live under her shadow – at least for me. While I do admire his skills and drive, he still comes up short beside Lisbeth.

There are some shocking elements in the book that did affect me a bit. Just like the first book, this plot too has many little elements that create the whole picture. And once again the author has done an admirable job of keeping his narrative crisp and letting one secret out at a time. Even though I faced the same issue with the pace as list time, the book was gripping right from the beginning. I am now sure that the pace bothers me because the author sets up such a plot (read trap) that I always want to get right to the bottom of the matters and the wait makes me impatient. 

And the answer to what was on my mind is a big yes; sometimes sequels do live up to the expectations set by its predecessors.

Review Copy received from Hachette India

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