Image of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy)


Image of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy)

First, the bad news: the final book of the Millennium trilogy (originally intended as a 10-book series before Larsson’s untimely death, so it is perhaps unfair to critique this as the end of the series) is the weakest of the three. The narrative feels a little too complicated, repetitive and bloated, particularly in its denouement. The good news: it’s still utterly un-put-down-able, a walloping good story. Its biggest flaw is that Lisbeth Salander is not as forceful a presence as she is in the previous two books, though while it is disheartening to not see her in action, it is as equally heartening to see so many others take up her cause. Furthermore, what the novel lacks in Salander-brand justice it more than makes up for in the story of former Millennium editor-in-chief Erika Berger, who struggles with both a violent stalker and corporate fraud at her new job, and in Annika Giannini, Blomqvist’s sister and Salander’s attorney, whose performance in the courtroom at the end of the book is not, under any circumstances, to be missed.

Picking up immediately after The Girl Who Played With Fire left off, the story begins with Lisbeth Salander severely injured and primed for risky surgery. For most of the rest of the book she’s recovering in a hospital bed while the case against her — multiple counts of assault and attempted murder — mounts. Meanwhile, crusading journalist Mikael Blomqvist teams up with Dragan Armansky, Salander’s employer at Milton Security, who in turn enlists help from his contacts in Sweden’s Security Police task force, to finally get to the heart of Salander’s tragic past as a way of proving her innocence. (KNOPF, Jun., 563 pp., $27.95)
Reviewed by: 
Michelle Wiener