The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson
I just had to put my other books down and begin this one, the third in the Larsson series. "The Girl Who Played With Fire", the second in the series, leaves you with so many unanswered questions that you find yourself really eager to find out the rest of the story! Also, I was in the mood for a page turner that would capture me and make me want to read on into the night! This did not disappoint me.
There is a brief recap in the beginning which helps you put yourself back into the story and then it takes off. The writing is so easy to read that you just feel like you are sitting at the table listening to the characters tell you their stories!
The beginning of the book, like "The Girl Who Played With Fire", has a lot of detail, almost to the point of distraction. There are also so many subplots that it is often hard to remember where you are in the story; yet, this gifted author manages to tie up all of the loose ends by the time you turn the last page. When I finished it, I wished it would continue but while reading it, I wished it would end so that I could answer all of my questions and figure out all of the mysteries. I do not think this would work as an ebook. It would not be as easy to refer back, as it is with a hard copy.
As I read, I found I enjoyed this book the most, of the three in the series. It is a great mystery and you feel as if you are involved in solving it. There is something for everyone; there is espionage, romance, human trafficking, pedophilia, corruption, murder, deviants of all stripes, thieves, break-ins, blackmail, to name just a few.
The story begins with Lisbeth Salander in the hospital, gravely ill, with three bullet wounds in her body, one to the brain. She has been framed since childhood, by a secret organization, in order to protect her father who is really a human being not worth protecting, but he apparently was once a double agent and was granted asylum and a new identity by this ultra secret security agency, within the government. He, himself, felt invincible since whatever mess he created, the secret agents cleaned it up. He had had his daughter locked away in an institution as a pre-teen and sent her mother to a nursing home after a severe beating which left her unable to care for herself or her children. Although, he was engaged in many illegal operations, he was always protected by this corrupt secret agency within the Swedish government.
We learn that Lisbeth has a pretty maniacal half brother, as well, who follows her father’s commands and commits the most heinous of crimes. He and his father try to murder Lisbeth but they are unsuccessful. Blomqvist turns up to rescue her. Her brother escapes, but Lisbeth and her father are taken to the hospital with severe wounds. From here the plot grows thicker and the drama develops.
The people in the secret organization will stop at nothing to save their organization, even committing suicide and murder to achieve their desired results. People are bribed, murdered, beaten, compromised and threatened. They are uniquely able to cover their tracks and leave no recorded evidence.
In the course of events, Lisbeth has caused injury to some men who were actually trying to injure her. Nevertheless, charges have been brought against her since there are no witnesses to say differently and those bringing the charges are in some way connected to this secret organization. In order to continue to hide their existence, the men in this secret organization want to place her back in a mental institution forever so that she cannot reveal their history. Exposing them would cause a scandal of monumental proportion in the country and, of course, shame the men and their families. There would be trials for their misconduct, which was under the radar and beyond the constitutional laws of the country. There are no records to prove their existence. These members arrogantly and egotistically believed that their purpose and survival was more important than the mere citizens who got in their way, Lisbeth among them.
The book keeps you on the edge of your seat as each new event triggers tension and more questions about how this will eventually resolve itself. Lisbeth, helpless in the hospital, will be going on trial and she has to figure out a way to “rescue” herself from the corrupt forces out to get her. Unexpectedly, she has many friends willing to help her but will she succeed? Will the guilty pay or the innocent?
This, like the other two books written in this series, is an amazing read once you get into it and figure out a way to deal with the violence without closing it forever and walking away. I am glad I stuck with it. You will not be able to put it down, once you get involved in the story because each page brings added scenarios to be worked out and problems to be solved. It is too bad Mr. Larsson died prematurely; I am certain he would have had many more interesting tales in his future.