Saturday, 10 January 2009
The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
IF YOU want a book to take on your lifetime trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl who Played with Fire is the one. Better to load it on your Kindle or iPhone if possible, though, because it’s a huge thing.
Larsson, a Swedish investigative journalist, brought his thriller trilogy to his publisher and promptly died of a heart attack at 50, is a hellish loss to literature.
The characters are the same as in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first of the series, but they’ve grown up. Lisbeth Salander, genius hacker and a paragon of body art, is wandering the world, discarding her nipple and tongue rings but (weirdly) getting her boobs done.
Mikael Blomkvist, editor of Millennium magazine, is preparing to publish a book about sex trafficking - as Larsson put it, “the finances of rape”.
Salander discovers that this probe revisits her own violent past. When a series of brutal murders happens, she’s right in the frame, and becomes a tabloid star as Sweden’s answer to Psycho Killer.
The tension torques tighter and tighter, there’s a shock with every page you turn, and the characters are tightly written and very likeable. The best thriller I’ve read in ages.