Second volume in Larsson's celebrated Millenium Trilogy.
Mikael Blomkvist is still riding on the success of his Wennerstrom book and Millenium magazine is doing very well, most importantly both are well-respected. But the interviews are wearing him down, answering the same questions over and over again. Worse still, Lisbeth Salander is no longer in contact with him. But every so often he visits her flat and knocks on her door.
While Mikael is knocking, Lisbeth is off around the world spending a little of the money she stole. The couple in the room next to her though are spoiling her relaxation. Well, rather the husband is and soon Lisbeth is involved in more drama.
Lisbeth returns to Sweden and continues to avoid Mikael. But she continues to keep tabs on him and others via their computers. She finds out the latest article and book that Millenium is working on and a name in their research springs out at her. It causes her to make contact. And very quickly she finds herself the prime suspect for a triple murder.
Friends rally around and fight to clear her name, while she hides in the shadows and only comes out through cryptic computer messages. But Lisbeth has a lot more than a triple murder charge to worry about and her friends have more than the fight for her life to worry about.
Fire is a solid, gripping sequel to Dragon. I very much liked the Vanger family mystery of the first book and worried that I wouldn't enjoy this book as much, but Larsson continues to weave a deep and many layered story around his central characters Blomkvist and Salander. There were so many plots and sub-plots and new characters that with every page-turn, I felt that the story was just expanding and becoming more detailed. Larsson's skill was to keep you hooked and on top of these plots - not once did I feel confused or weary. The bad guys, the police, her friends - every is chasing Lisbeth. Her friends are chasing the truth and the bad guys. The police are chasing everyone. People are leaking information, people are keeping secrets - recent and antique.
Most importantly, we find out alot more about Lisbeth's past and why all these people are being flung together in the present. The book ends on a cliffhanger, unlike the first volume, that demands you pick up the third immediately and that's what I'll be doing tonight.
This, the third part of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy was published in hardback last week and I whizzed out to buy a copy. I was delighted to find that it picks up from the exact point where the second book ended. However, despite reading book two only a couple of months ago, I found that I'd forgotten many of the names of the main characters (they're all Swedish names and I always find 'foreign' names don't register in my head as well as 'British' ones) so I started making a list. I'm currently up to 26 characters, not including the ones that I can easily remember!
That said, don't be put off, so far it's fantastic. The plot is thickening and deepening in a very pleasing way. I may have to phone into work sick for a day or two this week...