Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg LarssonPosted: August 22, 2012
This is a review of the third and final instalment in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, so for those who haven’t read parts one and two (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire/em>) this probably isn’t a good place to start as there will be spoilers. If you click on some of the tags on this post you’ll be able to read my reviews of the first 2 books
Anyway, let’s get down to the review.
The action picks up almost immediately after the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire, following the showdown between tough, damaged hacker Lisbeth Salander and her nemesis, her sadistic gangster father, Zalachenko. Both are rushed to hospital with serious injuries and Salander is still wanted in connection with a series of violent murders.
In Salander’s corner is journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who driven by his loyalty to her has proved her innocence and also has began to uncover a conspiracy which has protected Zalachenko and worked to silence and contain Salander.
Blomkvist and his allies try to uncover more about the shady government figures responsible. At the same time there are personal issues to be confronted..
Meanwhile the government figures begin to move to clean up the situation and ensure that Salander is silenced for good.
Can Blomkvist clear his friend’s name? Will the conspiracy be revealed? And is Salander safe?
Here’s the thing, Larsson struck gold with Salander, who is a fantastic character- tough, smart, troubled and a complete force of nature. Yet in this final part of her story she spends much of the book injured and isolated, without her dynamism at the heart of proceedings there’s a danger of it all becoming a little flat.
Luckily, Larsson is too good a writer for that and paces the novel well, starting slow but then building in intensity as the plot begins to unravel.
Its a wonderfully gripping thriller. With Salander out of action, it’s the likeable Blomkvist who drives the action, tirelessly digging into the murky world of the secret police, filled with a charming zeal for justice.
Blomkvist is a great character- smart and witty, and genuinely warmhearted he’s a believable hero.
Larsson populates his world with complicated, rounded characters on both sides, and their numbers swell as the depth and scope of the wrongdoing is revealed.
In the closing stages I couldn’t put it down as Larsson builds to his finale. Flying through the pages, reading with excited speed I was extremely satisfied when I set the book down. I’d heard that after Larsson’s death they’d found notes for a fourth book, and feared that this would be an anticlimactic finish to the series, but I found it to be one that fitted the series well. Resolving the plot and also providing the ending I think readers wanted.
Verdict: A well written, gripping thriller which serves as a strong, satisfying conclusion to the series. Larsson creates a fantastically grim, murky world but has also mastered crafting engaging, rounded and likeable characters. 7/10
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO