By Chet Yarbrough
By Stieg Larrsson
This is it; the last of the trilogy.
Looking back, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” and “The Girl Who Played with Fire” never quite reach the taste and quality of the first book in the series. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a delicious meal without a plate, knife, napkin, and fork. The second and third books are worth reading but the first book is the delectable meal; the “…Fire” and “…Nest” are place settings. All are about Girl Power.
Stieg Larrsson uses this last book in the series to tie loose threads of Lisbeth Salander’s and Michal Blomkvist’s lives.
The second book offers more detail about who Lisbeth Salander is and why she is the way she is. It would be difficult to stop reading after the second book because, at its end, Salander’s image as an invincible heroine seems shattered. A reader wants Salander to continue solving unsolvable mysteries; a reader wants Salander to fight for women’s rights; a reader wants an extraordinary hero to continue acting-out for justice. A hooked reader is compelled to read “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” because Stieg Larrsson created a character in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” that cannot be cowed by life or circumstance.
“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” begins where “The Girl Who Played with Fire” ends. Salander is in the hospital. She is under arrest for suspicion of murder and assault. Two new villains, created in “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, are alive; one is on the run and the other is being treated in the same hospital as Salander.
A quibble one may have with “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” is that it has a surplus of characters; too many to carry the thread of the story which is to vindicate Lisbeth Salander. It is as though Larrson’s last book needs additional editing.
Stieg Larrsson died soon after submitting these three books for publication. He never realized the fame that the creation of Lisbeth Salander engendered. Lisbeth Salander will not be heard from again; hopefully, another character builder like Larrsson will come along to resurrect an equally fascinating heroine that can attack the ugly reality of male violence against women. [contact-form-7 id=”1710″ title=”Contact form 1″]