It’s hard to keep momentum going for three books straight, and this was unfortunately my least favorite of the Larsson trilogy. If I had to point to one thing to blame, it would be the focus on unearthing the extremely secret conspiracy going on behind the scenes in the Swedish equivalent of the CIA. It grew tiresome watching secret service agents, the journalists at Millenium, and the police talk themselves in circles speculating on the group behind the Zalachenko cover up. It may be interesting to watch on the big screen, but reading it is slow going for 500+ pages.
The final book in Larsson’s trilogy opens with Lisbeth Salander receiving medical care for the life-threatening wounds she received at the end of book two. Amazingly, her brilliant mind is unaffected by the bullet and bone fragments that burrowed into her brain. Her father, the infamous Zalachenko manages to survive an axe to the face and is recovering in the hospital room two doors from the daughter he tried to murder. An overzealous prosecutor is determined to burn Salander for aggravated assault and attempted murder and she is confined to prison after several weeks of recovery in the hospital. For a person who is banned from receiving visitors and has no contact with the outside world, Salander is able to accomplish a great deal. Not only does she compile a cut-and-dry autobiography that sinks the prosecution’s case, but she also pin points a source of harassment at one of the largest newspapers in Sweden, thus saving the reputation and career of the former head of Millenium magazine, Erika Berger.
I was disappointed that the majority of the story revolved around Mikael Blomkvist, the man who sleeps with pretty much every woman he meets. I much prefer following Salander’s character, who is as cunning as her old man, but with a better moral compass. But Blomkvist is dogged and successful in his mission to exonerate Salander from all the evil that has been said of her and to expose the real criminals within the government–for that, I have to tip my hat to him.
To say much more might ruin it, so I’ll close by once again offering up a strong recommendation for this trilogy.