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The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2 | [Stieg Larsson]

The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Stieg Larsson was a crusading Swedish journalist, committed to the fight against political extremism and racism in his home country. In his spare time he completed a trilogy of striking crime novels, which he delivered to his publishers just before his untimely death in 2004. The first novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, centred on Mikhail Blomkvist, a crusading journalist with a social conscience; its sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, shifts focus onto the socially awkward computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, who becomes entangled in an investigation into sex trafficking, murder, and establishment corruption. This unusual central character is the story's main strength, allowing it to stand apart from the raft of contemporary and classic crime novels which Larsson fondly draws on. An expert hacker and mathematics-obsessive, Salander is a clenched fist of a character; difficult, psychologically traumatised, and capable of extreme violence.

Simon Vance endows her with the accent of an East London street urchin, a fitting voice for this embattled woman. While his narration is crisp, Vance's other characters range from working-class Northern English accents for Blomkvist, assorted police, and journalists, while others are given accents somewhere between Scandinavian and Bela Lugosi. However, as the plot thickens, such incongruities are forgotten, and a compelling social reality is created by Vance's skilled performance, which includes a sensitive rendition of a stroke victim's voice. Vance's cool delivery also suits the reportage feel of much of the writing; characters are introduced through their occupation, address, and educational background, while a mass of tiny observations (such as coffee mugs decorated with the logo of the civil service union) at times convey the tone of a police report. It is a tribute to Vance's delivery that the narrative thrust carries the accumulation of detail effortlessly from one action-packed set-piece to the next.

Larsson's published books have been a European phenomenon, due less, perhaps, to any narrative or thematic innovations as to the author's visceral anger at social injustice and the mistreatment of the vulnerable, particularly women. Violence against women is the work's central motif: the Swedish title of the first book in the series translates as Men Who Hate Women, and Salander is "the woman who hates men who hate women". In fact, there is an element of salacious revenge fantasy to much of her actions as she fights fire with fire; the story treads a fine line between condemning sadism and revelling in sadistic imagery. The real enemy of the tale is institutionalised machismo: policemen are loutish, rape is endemic, and villains enjoy guns, motorbikes, and magazines about motorbikes. Everyone, meanwhile, summers in wood shacks in the Swedish countryside.

While very much part of a larger whole (there are numerous references to events that occurred in the first part of the trilogy), The Girl Who Played with Fire stands alone as a highly enjoyable, if not always smooth - and often disquieting - mixture of classic crime tropes, searing violence, and vivid characterization. —Dafydd Phillips

Publisher's Summary

The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal best seller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ("An intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller" The Washington Post), and this time it is Lisbeth Salander, the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, who is the focus and fierce heart of the story.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander.

Now, as Blomkvist, alone in his belief in her innocence, plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

Listen to the rest of The Millennium Trilogy.

©2009 Stieg Larsson; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Boasts an intricate, puzzle-like story line . . . even as it accelerates toward its startling and violent conclusion.” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

“[A] gripping, stay-up-all-night read.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Gripping stuff. . . . A nail-biting tale of murder and cover-ups.” (People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (20185 )
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Performance
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  •  
    joan 11-11-10
    joan 11-11-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    159
    23
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    "The Girl Who Played with Fire"

    This book picked up right where the book one left off! It is a little longer due to the incredible detail spent on each of the characters and their history, but you don't want to stop listening! The ending was unbelievable!!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen Salina, KS, United States 10-21-10
    Carmen Salina, KS, United States 10-21-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
    6
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    "Great listen some violent content"

    Really interesting plot. If you start this, make sure you have the third book ready before you finish. You will want to start it immediately!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karlene Holland, MI, United States 10-20-10
    Karlene Holland, MI, United States 10-20-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    55
    3
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    Overall
    "drawn out"

    This book has a great plot. The narrator does a great job changing his voice when changing characters. The story is a little more drawn out than I though it needed to be. I think the author could have skipped a couple of chapters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trent Montfort, WI, United States 10-20-10
    Trent Montfort, WI, United States 10-20-10 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    "Amazing read!"

    This is how I wanted the first of the series to read. It is the first book in a long time that I was not able to put down. I actually stayed after work for 2 hours so I could sit in my office and be alone while reading this. Filled with suspense and action through out. Absolutely great writing!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda LOVELOCK, NV, United States 10-16-10
    Linda LOVELOCK, NV, United States 10-16-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    39
    11
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    "Wonderful series"

    I enjoyed the entire series so much! I have only one negative comment, and it might just be me, but I had trouble keeping all of the characters straight with so many names ending with "son" and others that sounded so much alike, I got confused as to who was who. Other than that, the book was wonderfully written and the characters really came alive! I wish there were more.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marisela Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 10-12-10
    Marisela Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 10-12-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Excellent book!"

    I am a regular listener of Audiobooks. This one specially caught my total attention throughout all three parts. I literally couldn't stop listening at it. I was happy I finished it so I could finally get proper sleep. Now I feel like listening to it again!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Cordova, TN, United States 10-02-10
    Lori Cordova, TN, United States 10-02-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    "Lived up to the hype"

    I was very entertained by this book. I read them out of order, but it was still awesome! I read "....dragon tatoo" after this one and the two don't conflict the other. You can read one and still be pulled in with another. The narrator was amazing. I had to keep asking myslef if it was narrated by more than one person because he truly bought the characters to life. Good book!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Lavergne, TN, United States 09-29-10
    Christian Lavergne, TN, United States 09-29-10 Member Since 2015

    Audiobooks allow book nerds like me to venture out in public and keep "reading."

    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
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    101
    35
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    "Good book"

    I liked it - better than the Dragon Tattoo - and I like that the series is building and I'm starting to care about the characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison 09-02-10
    Allison 09-02-10 Member Since 2008

    I'm a middle school English teacher and mother of one teen girl. I tend to read paper copies of YA books and listen to books for adults.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    215
    20
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    "We learn more about the girl with the tattoo"

    This book started slowly and with a gazillion characters / names that were difficult for me to keep track of. However, after the crime occurs, the story gets increasingly interesting. This book reveals a lot of background and history behind the most interesting title character.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Kansas City, MO, United States 08-30-10
    Sherry Kansas City, MO, United States 08-30-10 Member Since 2009

    Always Listening.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    157
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thrilling"

    I love to read books that come in a series and with that I understand that you can expect a lull in the story. This is never the case with the Stieg Larsson "Girl" series. Every moment is exciting and there are so many twistes in the story,

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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