I find it hard to keep track of the titles of the Millennium trilogy books, but The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second. The first is a sophisticated literary novel and also something of a classic whodunnit, in the sense that there’s a killer, a number of suspects and a reasonable chance that the reader will work out, from the clues, the identity of the guilty party.
The Girl Who Played with Fire leans to being a straightforward thriller. There’s international cloak and dagger stuff afoot and the reader really doesn’t get enough information to put it all together on their own, before the big reveal.
Instead, Larssen plays an intricate guessing game with our emotions. As Lisbeth Salander’s various friends are forced to question who she really is and what she might be capable of, our own belief in her is subtly undermined. It’s a rather marvelous bit of sleight-of-hand, I think. Through the middle of the book I was torn between my writerly certainty that the plot would play out a certain way (and I was right) and a powerful “ARRRGH! NO!” response.
It’s a good book, an interesting one. Salander is an awesome heroine.
In related news, I’ve cobbled together a page containing all my Books Read lists since 2002. It’s long, stupidly long, but it means you can search for authors if you’re interested. Or search for yourself and give me hell for missing your last book!