Larsson, Stieg. The Girl Who Played with Fire.
When I found this one on the new book shelf at the library, I immediately looked for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Larsson, but no luck. Disappointed, I nevertheless went ahead and began in the middle of this trilogy, determined to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo eventually.
Liz Salander left Sweden after the events in the first novel and this novel begins with Salander relaxing on the Caribbean island of Grenada. She is busy reading Dimensions in Mathematics and observing the behavior of the couple in the next room of her hotel. The husband is abusive, and Salander is curious enough to do some investigating.
The episode in the Caribbean provides some basic background about events and characters from the first novel and a hint about Salander's values. She's definitely flawed, her values skewed, but abusive men are a red flag to this young woman, and when given the opportunity, she does something about the situation.
The story then moves back to Sweden where the magazine Millenium, under the direction of Mikail Blomkvist, is preparing to run an expose on the sex trade. Soon after Salander returns to Sweden (buying and furnishing a new apartment and attempting to live a "normal" life), she finds herself the main suspect in the murders of the journalist writing the article about the sex trade and his girlfriend, who has written her doctoral thesis on the subject.
The Girl Who Played with Fire is fast-paced and suspenseful, the plot evolves seamlessly, and the characters are well-drawn (all flawed, but many idealistic in spite of it).
Such a shame that Larsson died after delivering his three manuscripts for publication.... At least I have two more to go, the first and the last. Since - d%**it - I started in the middle!
Fiction. Mystery/Suspense. 2009. 503 pages.