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

The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Series, 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 (20328 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Shefali MumbaiIndia 04-19-10
    Shefali MumbaiIndia 04-19-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book and the narrator were excellent. Would definitely recommend it. Can't wait to read the the next one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Putnam Valley, NY, United States 04-15-10
    Susan Putnam Valley, NY, United States 04-15-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The Girl Who Played With Fire"

    I absolutely loved this book. It held my interest from start to finish. The narrator was also very good with the voices.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew FPO, AE, USA 04-12-10
    Matthew FPO, AE, USA 04-12-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Page turner (well, if there were pages...)"

    Absolutely fantastic follow-up to the original. I could not stop listening to this book - it grabs you from the very beginning and keeps you wanting more all the way to the very end. Can't wait until the 3rd book in the series is available on Audible!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirsten Fort Myers, FL, USA 03-28-10
    Kirsten Fort Myers, FL, USA 03-28-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Fully entertaining!!"

    I started this book to pass the time while cleaning. By the middle of the day my family and I were all seated in the kitchen completely absorbed into the story. Riveting plot and wonderfully narrated.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    menary kitchen 02-26-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    52
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    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "busy"

    a lot is happening and it is hard to track the characters and their individual adventures but it is defenitely creative and imaginative

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nils heber, UT, United States 02-22-10
    Nils heber, UT, United States 02-22-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    74
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    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Pretty much the same as the first one"

    If you liked the first one and want more of the same, this one fits the bill.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alysia butler, PA, USA 02-20-10
    Alysia butler, PA, USA 02-20-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Awesome"

    Hard to keep up sometimes, but great story and lots of twists and turns.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 02-20-10
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 02-20-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    274
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    206
    91
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    26
    0
    Overall
    "Let down"

    There was so much hype on this book. I really didn't think it was my type but tried it anyway. It had a good plot but it was unnecessarily long. I can't exactly put my finger on what I didn't like about it. I think maybe something was lost in translation. The storyline was really good though. But I wouldn't listen to this book again and my favs are books I go back to for a second listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Decatur, AL, USA 02-15-10
    Robin Decatur, AL, USA 02-15-10 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "character interesting, reads like a screenplay"

    the strength of The Girl Who Played with Fire is her unusual personality which is revealed slowly in the story. Can't rate it as highly as others because none of the characters are developed in a way that makes us interested. Never did understand the title, either.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Talley 02-08-10 Member Since 2009

    fun susie

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    3
    Overall
    "Loved the book; reader was confusing"

    The book was outstanding! I really enjoyed the story, particularly as it related to violence against women. I struggled with the reader. He had a british accent and the story was set in Sweden. He would use a cockney accent for some of the characters which didn't work at all for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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