Saturday, June 19, 2010
Book 35 - The Girl Who Played With Fire
There's a fight scene in The Girl Who Played With Fire that every writer should read. It's a perfect ballet of action and internal dialogue, creating a wonderful example of the power of sensory detail. Stieg Larsson knew what he was doing.
That scene doesn't happen until almost the last third of the novel, but there's plenty of action to keep you engaged until then. After falling hard for Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I had little doubt I'd love the second in Larsson's trilogy - Salander plays prominently in this plot.
And like the first book, this second novel is as weighty as the first - both with wonderful storytelling and actual text. The Girl Who Played With Fire is just over 700 pages, which is a pretty big time investment.
But so worth it.
From a craft standpoint, there's some things that drive me nuts. Like random points of view (even a short scene in the POV of a FOX) and some author intrusion. But I'm not the only one on the bandwagon that seems to turn a blind eye. The plot is just that compelling. Or maybe it's the characters...
In this book, Salander is implicated in the murder of two journalists the night before their explosive story about sex trafficking in Sweden is slated for publication at Millenium. The evidence is alarming: Salander's fingerprints are found on the weapon. Mikael Blomkvist - whose life Salander saved in the first book - believes her innocent and plunges into his own investigation of the killings. Along the way, we meet some shady people.
I started this book on my way to Nova Scotia and thought for sure I'd finish it on the flight. Sadly, I was forced to put the novel down in favour of some day job work and then was too busy - or tired - to read at all while across the country. Despite the disjointed read, I enjoyed the book very much.
And fell a little more in like with Salander.
Which is why I HAVE to buy the third book, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, soon. Larsson left me with an annoying cliffhanger. By the same token, I'm hesitant to read it because I know it's the last one the author wrote before he passed away.
With some series, you can get away with reading the second or even third book before the first but I'd advise against that in this case. Larsson does an incredible job of setting up the relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael and while it seems natural now, it would come off a fairly confusing without the back story.