The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Series, Book 3 (Unabridged)
by Stieg Larsson
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The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy. Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.
THE MILLENNIUM SERIES: Possibly the MOST INTELLIGENT & UNIQUE mystery series ever written. I rated the previous 2 books in this series less than 5 stars, but the concluding The GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST exponentially raises my appreciation of those 2 novels. To comparatively rate the complete trilogy (and TGWKTHN can't really stand alone) with other books in this genre, you'd need an extra star; there's nothing comparable. TGWKTHN is amazingly crafted, with remarkable attention to DETAILS, complex unforgettable characters that you won't want to let go of. The tangle of background details clears, the story tightens, the momentum cleverly builds, every strand is pulled tight,...then...SWEET SWEET RETRIBUTION ("no compromises") that brings the curtain down & leaves you cheering. **If you find the 100 or so characters in the first half overwhelming (EACH named & linked to the case--you'd need a flow chart to track them all)...JUST HANG ON--don't fret! You'll be surprised how quickly you put them all in their place as the story starts to sprint to a satisfying conclusion. SO refreshing to listen to something new & inventive--Mr. Larsson's passing is a great loss to the literary world. The production....FLAWLESS! Very entertaining; Simon Vance is a fabulous & talented narrator on his own; teamed with Larsson's writing...an exceptional experience. SALANDER...BLOMVKIST...I'm so hungry for more.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest
First, this is the third in a series, and obviously you need to read the first two as the background on all the characters is detailed. And then in this book there are several new characters. Not knowing Swedish there are a lot of "B's" for last names..Don't feel inferior if you need to do a tree of characters in order to stay in the loop. You don't have a clue as to the ending but he "nails" it in the end. IMO this series could be recognized as the all time greatest mystery trilogy...The author's sudden death ends it and that was unfortunate as it has been suggested that the series would stretch to ten..Supposedly there is a half finished fourth one in his laptop, but is tied up in court. His live in of thirty years, Eva Grabrielson, is thought to have co-authored(maybe too strong) the first three and would be a natural to finish the fourth...In any event you do not want the book to end...
As an aside a fun thing to do is plug the addresses the author uses into Google Earth. They are real and you can stroll with the mouse through the streets of Stockholm and see Lisbeth's old and new apartments and other references.
stellar series- but start at the beginning
Larsson's trilogy is intense and difficult to put down. I would definitely suggest starting at the beginning of the series with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo though. So much character development occurs throughout the series and I often found that I would be lost if I had not read the first two in the series. I am very sad that Larsson is deceased because these books have me thrilled. I absolutely read each of the three straight through and did little else until they were done. This would make any car ride or trip bearable.