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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson,2009,* * * * *

Fans of intelligent page-turners will be more than satisfied by Larsson's follow-up to the phenomenal best seller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which introduced crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and punk hacker savant Lisbeth Salander. This time Blomkvist has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business leaders and government officials. On the eve of publication, the two people responsible for the story, Dag Svensson and his girlfriend Mia Johansson, are found brutally murdered in their Stockholm apartment. Salander, who has a history of violent tendencies, becomes the prime suspect after the police find her fingerprints on the murder weapon. Blomkvist plunges into his own investigation of the murders while Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey. The two central characters transcend their genre and insinuate themselves in the reader's mind through their oddball individuality, their professional competence and, surprisingly, their emotional vulnerability These are addictive thrillers and everyone I know who reads them gets hooked. I can’t wait for the third and final installment: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.

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