Book Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

July 28, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson is the second book in The Millennium Trilogy – the first being The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Book Review) and tells the tale of the infamous Lisbeth Salander – the woman who hates men who hate women – and her acquaintance, our ace investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

Let me start by saying that I’m glad that the good folks in the Larssonverse have laid off the coffee a bit. It can be dangerous for your health to drink so much coffee.

The story starts by Blomkvist and pals working on exposing a Swedish sex trafficking operation specializing in teenage prostitutes kidnapped or lured from the Eastern block. Some high profile people are either in that ring or have used their services are going to be exposed when all hell breaks loose and Salander becomes Sweden’s most wanted criminal.

To avoid capture Salander disappears while the newspapers have a field day with the psycho-S&M-Devil-Worshiping-Lesbian – a juicy item indeed if I may say so myself.

A manhunt ensues which is when we learn of Salander’s childhood, traumas and events which shaped her to be the adorable young anti-social person we know and love.

Character wise with the exception of Salander no-one is really well developed. The bad guys are cartoonish as if they jumped out of a 007 movie, the cops are portrayed incompetent caricatures and the rest of the gang we got introduced to in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are simply just “there”. Basically the good guys are purely good (considerate, reasoned, unselfish) and the bad guys are purely bad beyond any reasonable measure.

However, this is a fun book; the book can be ridiculous at times and riveting at others. The character of Salander, who was somewhat believable in the first novel is taken to extremes in this one, but is still great fun even though the “chance encounter” plot twist is a bit overplayed.

A nod of acknowledgment to the wonderful translation by Reg Keeland, even though it would be nice to see in future versions and / or other stories from the cold countries, a pronunciation key for places.

Buy The Girl Who Played with Fire from*
More Books by Steig Larsson*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book from the local library.
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

Enhanced by Zemanta
--- Please like and follow ---
Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
Author Rating
Product Name
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Wrap Up

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson


  • JannaJuly 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Great review. These novels are some of the most enjoyable books, considering that they have so many faults. Your point about character development is an excellent exmaple. And yet… I couldn't put these books down.

  • BobbieJuly 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    The first one was my favorite of the whole series. The last two got bigger and more hurried.sorry i have not been around sooner. I have had a bad headache the last couple of days. Thanks again for stopping by.BobbieTil We Read Again

  • BookQuoterJuly 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Although this was me least favorite of the three books, I thought it was a perfect book to tie the two together.

  • KIKAJuly 31, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Lovely Review, I have yet to read these books and have been hounded for it. I enjoyed reading your points of view and why or why not you liked the book. Thanks for stopping in on my blog 🙂 Happy reading! am now a follower.

  • CarinMarch 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Nice review! I did enjoy this book even though it was not as good as the first. I still really liked Lisbeth’s character development–learning why she was the way she was. I thought it was really well written. I didn’t like the end very much. It got a little out of control, but I chose to suspend my disbelief and enjoy it anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 + 2 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Visit Us
Follow Me
Post on X