If not for the Time magazine’s article on “12 all-time great summer reads”, I would not have known about this fiction. This is the second book of the Millennium trilogy written by the author who passed away after delivering the manuscripts of all three books to the Swedish publisher. This book was translated into English in 2009.
“The Girl Who Played with Fire” is 640 pages. The story came alive for me somewhere one-third way into the book. It became even more captivating when I was into the last one-third of the book. This is where the mysteries at the start are revealed clearly as I turned the pages.
The novel is a crime story to do with sex trafficking and murders. The girl who played with fire is Lisbeth Salander. She continues her story from part one of the trilogy – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. The second book refers to some incidents in the first book, but one can still get by without reading the first book.
There is enough suspense, police investigative work and private investigative work by Millennium magazine’s publisher Mikael Blomkvist to keep one guessing the real motive for a triple murders. It may not be what it seems.
If the book had been written by another author, a substantial part at the beginning can be compressed to fit into 400-odd pages novel and it still does not lose the essence of the story. I find the Swedish names of individuals and places were a challenge for me. I got confused with some names of the many players in the story. In the end, I manage to follow the plot because Stieg Larsson brought every element of the mysteries into clarity later into the story.
I rate this book with rating of Parental Guidance as there are explicit references to sexual behaviour and violence.