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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

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About the Author

Stieg Larsson was the founder and editor-in-chief of the anti-racist magazine Expo. He was a renowned expert on right-wing extremist organisations. He died in 2004, soon after delivering the text of the novels that make up the Millennium Trilogy. Reg Keeland is the translator of many fine writers from Swedish.


The final volume of Larsson's best-selling "Millennium" trilogy begins where The Girl Who Played with Fire left off: Lisabeth Salander lies comatose in a Swedish hospital, a bullet in the head, while a few rooms away her father, a Soviet defector, recovers from the severe axe wounds she inflicted. Meanwhile, journalist Mikael Blomqvist sets out to clear Lisbeth of murder charges by exposing a secret group of Swedish intelligence officers who had conspired to protect her father's identity by nearly destroying Lisbeth. Unfortunately, this crackerjack opening is followed by 100 pages of tedious plot rehashing and dry summaries of Swedish history and politics. Because Larsson's fascinating heroine is offstage for much of the early action, the novel lacks its predecessors' compelling narrative drive, although a few surprising scenes will keep readers hanging in there. Their patience will be well rewarded in the final 200 pages, where Larsson ties his multiple plot threads together into a satisfying conclusion. Larsson's other female characters, including Annika, Mikael's lawyer sister who kicks some serious legal butt at the climactic trial, and Berger, Mikael's old lover and business partner who battles sexism at a major newspaper, play bigger roles here and reflect the author's passionate opposition to misogyny and injustice. Verdict Despite its flaws, this is a must read for Larsson fans. New readers should start with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10; 500,000-copy first printing.]-Wilda Williams, Library Journal Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

'Complex, satisfying, clever, moral ... a grown-up novel for grown-up readers ... this is why the Millennium Trilogy is rightly a publishing phenomenon all over the world' Kate Mosse. * Kate Mosse *
'The pace rarely lets up ... it's an exhilarating read ... this is a strong and satisfying conclusion to a massively ambitious, richly textured trilogy' Daily Express. * Daily Express *
'By some alchemy, Larsson has made a character who ought to be completely unbelievable into one of the most compelling and convincing in modern fiction ... one wonders what Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple would make of her, but Lisbeth Salander bids fair to join them in the ranks of crime fiction's true immortals' Daily Telegraph. * Daily Telegraph *
'A cyclonic force of a story, I experienced the same happiness and feverish excitement with which I read Dumas's Three Musketeers or the novels of Dickens... exceptional... I repeat, without any shame whatsoever: fantastic' Mario Vargas Llosa in El Pais. * El Pais *
'Fans will not be disappointed; this another roller-coaster ride that keeps you reading far too late into the night. Intricate but flawlessly plotted, it has complex characters as well as a satisfying, clear moral thrust ... most compelling is the character of Salander ... I cackled with glee as she turned the tables on her enemies in a climactic courtroom scene ... Who'd have thought a Swedish geek could set British pulses racing' Evening Standard. * Evening Standard *
'There is comparison with that other great work of contemporary entertainment, The Wire, in the rage and clarity with which injustice becomes the driver of a novel way of looking at society. Be warned: the trilogy, like The Wire, is seriously addictive.' Guardian. * Guardian *

Simon Vance isn't about to change anything that worked so well in his renditions of the first two-thirds of the Millennium trilogy. But as the late author planned, the books form a coming-of-age story, albeit an unconventional one, in which the rough-edged computer genius Lisbeth Salander moves from aggressively antisocial behavior toward self-awareness and happiness. Much of that happens in this book, and Vance follows Larsson's lead, subtly decreasing Salander's stridency, even as she is forced to combat an awesome array of villains. Vance has no problem vocally distinguishing each of the bad guys, along with the heroic team of police and journalists led by Salander's co-protagonist, magazine writer Mikael Blomkvist. He even manages to help listeners identify a Stockholm telephone directory's worth of Swedish names. Vance wrings every ounce of suspense out of the prose, and there is one shocking confrontation near the end that allows him to pull out all the stops. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 21). (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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