The Girl Who Played With Fire is the second book in The Millennium Trilogy, by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson. This continues the story of Lisbeth Salander, begun in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It picks up her story about two years after the end of the first book. Lisbeth has spent the past year abroad, much of it in the Caribbean reading books about mathematical theories.
When she does return to Sweden, it is to an expensive apartment in Stockholm which she has purchased with some of the money she diverted from the account of the late billionaire Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. Soon after her return, she begins to make contact with some of her acquaintances from the past. She continues hacking into the computers of nearly everyone she knows. Soon, however, she is recognized by someone from her past, and she is accused of the murders of three people.
This book follows the manhunt for Lisbeth by the police, as well as those trying to kill her and, of course, Mikael Bloomkvist, the journalist who befriended her and believes in her innocence. As the plot unfolds, we learn about the events and traumas of Lisbeth’s childhood, and why she is being hunted by some of Sweden’s most powerful people.
Lisbeth Salander is a complex character and totally sympathetic, despite her often violent behavior. She is often victimized, but always fights back. Lisbeth has a powerful instinct for survival, which she needs. It’s actually difficult to discuss Lisbeth and this book without giving too much away. Needless to say I am looking forward to the imminent publication of the final installment in the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I highly recommend this book.
Published in hardcover- Knopf-2009