Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest cover

Millennium III

Asocial computer hacker Lisbeth Salander is rushed to hospital after journalist Mikael Blomkvist discovered her pursuant to her botched attempt to murder her psychopath father Alexander Zalachenko. Her brother (as of yet the connection to him is unknown to the police) Ronald Niedermann is on the run. Blomkvist has managed to get the story out there that Salander is innocent and has suffered dreadful injustices at the hands of the government, and she is cleared of suspicion of the three murders she has been hunted for. Salander fights for her life, and slowly but surely comes to be on good terms with the doctor that saved her life, Dr Anders Jonasson.

Surviving her ordeal, Salander is livid to learn that her father is alive and well as well as two doors down from her. She is building up her strength to finish the job, no matter what the cost. She is also most annoyed with Blomkvist for forcing his attorney sister, Annika Giannini, on her to represent her in the upcoming trial. One day the pleasure of murdering her father is robbed from her when an elderly gentleman enters their ward and executes Zalachenko. Soon after, the report that had Salander institutionalised when she was twelve is stolen from both Blomkvist and his sister. He is quick, and realizes that a cover-up is underway, and that Millennium might be in the crosshairs. The magazine is already suffering due to Erika Berger leaving to helm a huge local newspaper, but Erika is dealing with issues of her own at her new job, including being stalked by someone unknown.

Gripped in the fervour of a new case, Blomkvist sets out to help Salander in any way he can. He ensures that she has access to a handheld computer as well as an internet connection so that she can prepare her side of the story in time for her trial. Blomkvist brings previous investigators together when it becomes evident that the Salander case is being divided up. He also speaks to a mutual friends of Salander, Dragan Armansky and Holger Palmgren, and together they set up what Blomkvist coins the Knights of the Idiotic Table, and they are all intent on helping Salander. She is shocked. Suddenly she has many acquaintances that are prepared to help her, and she will be in debt of many of them. Blomkvist is fervently writing his book on Salander as well as preparing the magazine for when her trial comes together.

Will Salander be able to make her case in court and finally be heard? Where is Niedermann, and will the new police manhunt eventually track him down? Will Blomkvist be able to expose the Section in time for Salander’s trial? Will Erika Berger be able to work out who is threatening her and trying to run her out of her new job with absolutely no grace?

GRADE 8I was very interested to see how Blomkvist was going to work out exactly how to hold somebody accountable for the injustices that Salander suffered, and his quest was very interesting to follow. The assassination of Zalachenko was very sudden, and left me wondering for a section how the story was going to pick up, but never fear. It progressed just fine. The Section was a formidable force, and seemed untouchable. Berger not being with Millennium anymore was a bitter pill to swallow, and her side-story with the stalker was very interesting. It was great to read more about Salander’s relationships with other people, and see how she got along with them when they were not trying to do her in. The investigation into the Section was pretty in depth, and nothing just happened, or too quickly, or too easily. Figuerola doesn’t strike me as the best match for Blomkvist, though, but I suppose we will see where this goes. Salander working tirelessly in the hospital to ready her defence for the upcoming trial as well as still helping other people out was pretty cool, too. A wonderful tale of misinformation, so smoothly laid out you cannot help but appreciate the style. Another solid entry from Stieg Larsson, and it is an absolute pity that it was his last. There would have been a whole lot of further novels to relish. Such a shame, such a shame.

SPOILER: I absolutely loved the whole court drama with Salander. Giannini was great as her attorney, and tearing Teleborian to shreds was fantastic to behold, he was a monster that needed to be put straight. The progression of the case overall was good, but that was truly a glorious moment for me as a reader.

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10 thoughts on “Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson

  1. Nish says:

    I agree with you…it’s such a shame that he didn’t get to pen more books, especially because I feel he wasn’t done yet with Salander as a character. It ended feeling like there was more on the horizon.

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    • Zoë says:

      Dammit it breaks my heart every time I think about it, he was really good! There was. He was going to do ten books for that series as I understand it 😦

      Like

  2. Tom says:

    Nicely written. Do you know if they have plans to make film sequels? Is this the second or third installment? I myself haven’t read the books nor seen the film so I need to do my homework!

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    • Zoë says:

      This is the third and final one. I know the Swedes did all three into movies. The States did the first one and they are supposedly going to do the rest at some stage, rumours going for a 2014 release.

      I would suggest checking out the books. They are pretty good. The film carried a similar but ultimately different story altogether.

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