Book Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millenium #2) by Stieg Larsson

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

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire. 

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself 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 thought The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo was great, so I was fully expecting a stellar sequel.  While The Girl Who Played With Fire was still a very good book, it felt flat to me.  The middle dragged on forever, with long explanations about police investigations both past and present.  The reader follows at least 12 investigators, plus many of the same characters from the first book.  This was confusing at times and slowed down the pace for me.   

The ending saved the book, and set up The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest perfectly.  In retrospect, I think The Girl Who Played With Fire was setting up book three, since not much was resolved by the end of the book.  This one felt like a world-building novel, still good, but not as thrilling as the first one. 

Just One Gripe:
There were just too many characters to follow!

The Best Thing About This Book:
I just love reading about Lisbeth.  She is brilliant, plucky, and a survivor.  I love that she hates her feelings toward Blomkvist.

Appropriate for a younger audience:

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Setting/Imagery: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score:  18/25

Read First:


  1. I have been debating starting these books.. After hearing how much everyone loves the series I think I will have to move them to the top of my TBR pile!

    Thanks for the review!

  2. You should Tara! They are great, very unique.


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