‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’, sequel to ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ is a worthy addition to the trilogy. The story follows on from the previous novel effortlessly, as if it were the very next day and the narrative continues almost without break.
The novel begins with Salander basking in the sunshine, living off the vast amounts of money she embezzled at the end of the last novel, while she studies mathematics. There’s a man named Dr Forbes in the room next door to her who seems to be beating his wife and Salander’s having a fling with a young boy who lives in a beach shack. During a bad storm she sees Dr Forbes trying to kill his wife and saves him the young boy from the beach hut. It’s safe to say she leaves that holiday resort a heroine.
After more than a year travelling Salander returns to Stockholm where she buys a new apartment and asks on and off partner Miriam Wu to move in. During this time her new guardian Nils Bjurman has been sifting through her files, trying to established what really happened in her past. Blomkvist and Salander have lost contact during this time after her heartbreak at the end of the last novel but he sees her being attacked whilst walking past her apartment in the hope of running into her. Blomkvists attempts to help but the attacker escapes.
Millennium has been fully operational during this time and now they enlist the help of Dag Svensson and Mia Bergman to aid them with a story on sex trafficking and the recurring name ‘Zala’, which seems to be linked. However, they are silenced before they are given the time to be of much help.
As the story unfolds it soon becomes clear that Salander has her own stories tied up with the name ‘Zala’ and as the police investigation into the deaths of Dag and Mia persist new truths are overturned.
The novel builds excellently in this novel, leaving the reader unable to put it down. The character development in this novel is a particular strength but the plot lines as well unfold effortlessly. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in sophisticated thrillers.