Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The third and final part of Larsson's amazing trilogy doesn't disappoint, and will certainly be revered by those who have already feasted on Lisbeth Salander's two previous outings. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest picks up from where the second part finishes. Salander is laid up in hospital recovering from a bullet wound in the head, but she has inadvertendly started a chain of events in the most secretive of government agencies, and they are determined to cover their tracks at all costs.

This whole series must surely be one of the most original ever to be committed to paper - a thoroughly unique (anti?) heroine in Salander and revolving around a investigative newspaper? Good Heavens. Even so, this whole series has been a masterpiece of plotting on Larsson's part - it is a complex web, but the writing is stark and simple that one never really gets lost in its intricacies. And make no mistake about it, it's a page turner - Larsson is not afraid to throw in the odd curveball that you're really not expecting to mix it all up, and the story just keeps on going with unstoppable momentum. This really is the perfect finish, when all the cracks that appeared in the first two books start to creak and grown and eventually the whole things falls down in a crash and a cloud of dust. I simply didn't want it to end. Famtastic.

In short, I can't praise it highly enough - not only is the whole series a brilliant crime caper, but as all great crime stories should, Larsson takes a mighty swipe at the post-war Swedish political landscape at the same time(I love Micheal Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series set in Italy for the same reason.)

Anyway, I was hooked halfway through the first (and, in my opinion, weakest) on the series, but this one really cranks up the pressure. It truly is one of the greatest crime masterworks of the decade and its such a crying shame that Larsson died long before his time and is no longer around to produce such great stories. I, for one, will miss Salander enormously.

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