More gripping again than the first, the second in Stieg Larsson’s series is an enjoyable novel of corruption that hones in on the story of its protagonist Lisbeth Salander.
After three murders – of a couple investigating sex trafficking and Salander’s guardian Burjman – she becomes the subject of a major national murder investigation. Blomkvist is one of the few people who don’t believe her guilty, and makes the connection between them all, and battles with the police and criminal gangs to help her. As always, though, Salander saves herself and is the strongest character throughout.
What’s nice about this book is it is really about Salander – how she became who she is, and we meet her father in particular who is deeply involved in trafficking.
The book is obviously pretty unbelievable. It relies on a high degree of coincidence and the unlikely physical and mental abilities of Salander. But at the same time it tackles big subjects like power and corruption, upbringing and agency – and it’s a fantastic read.