Our Mysteries and Thrillers winner and pick for Audiobook of the Year, 2008....
World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist....
The Keeper of Lost Causes, the first installment of Adler- Olsen's Department Q series, features the deeply flawed chief detective Carl MØrck....
Returning to her hometown after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy....
While looking into her father and sister's criminal empire, Lisbeth uncovers information about ties between a criminal organization, the NSA, and a massive technology corporation....
Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms....
Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years....
After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women....
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first....
The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known....
Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped....
Best-selling author Michael Connelly delivers his first legal thriller, an incendiary tale about a cynical defense attorney whose one remaining spark of integrity may cost him his life....
Will Robie, a stone-cold hitman, may have just made the first - and last - mistake of his career....
Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River....
"Mine is a story of craving: an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered...."
For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic....
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction.
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
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.
I live in Beijing. I drive or take the subway several times a week and that is when I listen to Audible books. I do not listen to them at home. If I did, I would go through my Audible library much too quickly and my credit card balance would, all too soon, reflect the damage. I am highly disciplined about this. When I get to the door of my apartment, the book clicks off, and podcasts or music must suffice during housework or down time. I know that this is a slippery slope, so I am far too wise to make exceptions.
I listened to the last four or five hours of this book while baking, taking a bath and, finally, lying on my bed, transfixed. Unacceptable!
It breaks my heart that Stieg Larsson is no longer with us. On the other hand, it is going to make it a lot easier for me to return to a regime of no Audible.com books at home.
Some readers have found the detail in the book overwhelming. For me they were an important part of the texture of the story which moves like real life. When the author puts so much at stake for the characters, the realistic details become loaded--which of them will prove to be crucial, life changing? Which of them are simply part of the unimportant background? If Larsson had not created such engaging and fascinating characters or a situation so charged with danger and dark possibility, they would be tiresome. Instead, I found myself picking my way through them as through a mine field.
In addition, the plot works like a well oiled machine, a very complex machine. In the end you must just give yourself up to it and live it out to the end with Salander, Blomkvist and the fifteen or twenty other memorable characters in the book. Brilliant work!
121 of 127 people found this review helpful
Missed work and ignored the phone for two days. Larsson was a consummate story teller. I am totally hooked. Vance brought to life a slew of Interesting and well developed characters that took me from "the girl with the dragon tattoo" immediately into the sequel. Looking forward to the next (and sadly, Last) of the trilogy. I'll probably get fired this month!
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
I am as bummed as a person can get! I have finished The Girl Who Played with Fire. It is 18 hours long and I could have listened for another 18 easily. Lizbeth is smart, savvy, tough and cool and I would give my iPhone and all the apps to be like her! She is a computer genius and math wiz and the author, Stieg Larsson, must have been as well, because I envision a wall full of character equations to keep track of everyone and all of the plot twists and turns. If you haven't listened to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I envy you because you have it to look forward to and I have in my past, but listen to it first or you will be lost by all of the characters. In Played with Fire, the author will keep you absolutely tuned in because it feels like if you miss a name, or location, or computer file title you may miss a major story line. I found myself skipping back to catch details because I didn't want to miss anything. I can't wait till the next book comes out but then I will go into mourning because it is the last from this author. It is a loss.
37 of 39 people found this review helpful
I don't normally write reviews, but I absolutely love this series of books. The plots are pleasantly complex and hold your attention throughout. The reading was really well done as well. Wish there were more books by this author!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I didn't think an audiobook could be more interesting and gripping than Tattoo (although the first half hour was a little slow because it was introducing three different characters and branches of the story). The marvelous actor/narrator is back and his use of different pitches and accents helps keep the various characters identifiable in dialogue. This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. So sorry there is apparently only one more in the hopper by this gifted, late author.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
True to his first novel The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-Steig Larsson wrote a higly entertaining book with memorable characters. Just when you think you know where the plot is heading there are twists and turns that will leave you enthralled and wanting more. I did not want this book to end. Loved the narration-it was right on the mark.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
What a thrilling book. But you must read 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' first to get the full story. These are the best books I have ever purchased from Audible. Simply AMAZING!
35 of 38 people found this review helpful
If you like mysteries and Convoluted stories , this is a book for you. It is 18 hrs of great writing. The story is Swedish, all of the names are Swedish. The story is translated. It is great and the narrator reads so well and puts different voices to all of the characters. This is a must read.
I rate the story 5 stars, if I could rate the narrator 6 stars I would.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
My personal rule for audiobooks is that I only listen while I'm doing something constructive. Thanks to Mikail and Lisbeth, my house is now clean, the weeds are pulled in my yard, and my dog has had more walks and runs than he ever thought possible. I could not stop listening! I slowly came to appreciate Lisbeth in Tatoo, but I was in her corner from the start in Fire. Steig Larsson's incredible literary talents are wonderfully complemented by Simon Vance's fabulous narration. This book made me squirm in places, but over things we all need to squirm about.
75 of 83 people found this review helpful
While I really enjoyed the first book, this second takes all the first book's strengths and eliminates the weaknesses to create a true "page turner!"
As with the first book, characters are fascinating and very well developed but I just find this story more interesting than the first and there isn't so much boring background. Where the first book spent time going into the history of companies and families, this book is much more direct and, in turn, interesting. I still feel the first book was a solid 4 star book but this one is worthy of a 5 star rating.
While it is a way different genre, if you like this book check out Peter F. Hamilton's work for more excellent character development and engrossing plots.
52 of 58 people found this review helpful