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The Girl Who Played with Fire

Cover of The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Millennium Trilogy, Book 2
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Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel....More
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel....More
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Description-
  • Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

    From the Paperback edition.

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 Thursday, December 16 -- Friday, December 17
    Lisbeth Salander pulled her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and squinted from beneath the brim of her sun hat. She saw the woman from room 32 come out of the hotel side entrance and walk to one of the green-and-white-striped chaises-longues beside the pool. Her gaze was fixed on the ground and her progress seemed unsteady.

    Salander had only seen her at a distance. She reckoned the woman was around thirty-five, but she looked as though she could be anything from twenty-five to fifty. She had shoulder-length brown hair, an oval face, and a body that was straight out of a mail-order catalogue for lingerie. She had a black bikini, sandals, and purple-tinted sunglasses. She spoke with a southern American accent. She dropped a yellow sun hat next to the chaise-longue and signalled to the bartender at Ella Carmichael's bar.

    Salander put her book down on her lap and sipped her iced coffee before reaching for a pack of cigarettes. Without turning her head she shifted her gaze to the horizon. She could just see the Caribbean through a group of palm trees and the rhododendrons in front of the hotel. A yacht was on its way north towards St Lucia or Dominica. Further out, she could see the outline of a grey freighter heading south in the direction of Guyana. A breeze made the morning heat bearable, but she felt a drop of sweat trickling into her eyebrow. Salander did not care for sunbathing. She had spent her days as far as possible in shade, and even now was under the awning on the terrace. And yet she was as brown as a nut. She had on khaki shorts and a black top.

    She listened to the strange music from steel drums flowing out of the speakers at the bar. She could not tell the difference between Sven-Ingvars and Nick Cave, but steel drums fascinated her. It seemed hardly feasible that anyone could tune an oil barrel, and even less credible that the barrel could make music like nothing else in the world. She thought those sounds were like magic.

    She suddenly felt irritated and looked again at the woman, who had just been handed a glass of some orange-coloured drink.

    It was not Lisbeth Salander's problem, but she could not comprehend why the woman stayed. For four nights, ever since the couple had arrived, Salander had listened to the muted terror being played out in the room next door to hers. She had heard crying and low, excitable voices, and sometimes the unmistakable sound of slaps. The man responsible for the blows -- Salander assumed he was her husband -- had straight dark hair parted down the middle in an old-fashioned style, and he seemed to be in Grenada on business. What kind of business, Salander had no idea, but every morning the man had appeared with his briefcase, in a jacket and tie, and had coffee in the hotel bar before he went outside to look for a taxi.

    He would come back to the hotel in the late afternoon, when he took a swim and sat with his wife by the pool. They had dinner together in what on the surface seemed to be a quiet and loving way. The woman may have had a few too many drinks, but her intoxication was not noisome.

    Each night the commotion in the next-door room had started just as Salander was going to bed with a book about the mysteries of mathematics. It did not sound like a full-on assault. As far as Salander could tell through the wall, it was one repetitive, tedious argument. The night before, Salander had not been able to contain her curiosity. She had gone on to the balcony to listen through the couple's open balcony door. For more than an hour the man had paced back and forth in the room, going on about what a shit he was, that he did not deserve...
About the Author-
  • Stieg Larsson,who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Reviews-
  • Entertainment Weekly

    "[A] gripping, stay-up-all-night read."

  • Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Boasts an intricate, puzzle-like story line . . . even as it accelerates toward its startling and violent conclusion."
  • People "Gripping stuff. . . . A nail-biting tale of murder and cover-ups."
  • Dallas Morning News "You might as well give up on the idea of sleep till you've finished the book."
  • Los Angeles Times "Buzzes with ideas [and] fizzes with fury."
  • Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel "[A] dynamite thriller."
  • USA Today "Lisbeth Salander [is] one of the most startling, engaging heroines in recent memory."
  • Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle "Brilliant. . . .Grabbed me and kept me reading with eyes wide open."
  • Erica Marcus, Newsday "I couldn't put down The Girl Who Played with Fire and eagerly await book three. . . . You must find out what happens next."
  • Associated Press "Lisbeth Salander could be the female Jason Bourne . . . It's an intelligent, fascinating story that draws readers in, and keeps them turning the page."
  • San Antonio Express-News "A combustible new thriller . . . Extremely well-written--Larsson's minimalist prose is frosted with Scandinavian cool. . . . Burns with blue-flame intensity. . . . Larsson keeps a tight rein on the bullet-train plot."
  • Variety "A dynamite thriller."
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, El País "Fantastic . . . Like all the great stories of just avengers that populate literature, this trilogy is secretly comforting, making us think that maybe all is not lost in this imperfect and deceitful world of ours. . . . Welcome to the immortality of fiction, Lisbeth Salander!"
  • Washington Post "Enthralling. . . . Confirms the impression left by Dragon Tattoo."
Title Information+
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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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