Three people are murdered. Two of the victims were friends of Mikael Blomkvist and worked with him for the Millenium magazine on a report and a book about sex trafficking in Sweden. The other victim was Lisbeth Salander's guardian. All three were shot with the same weapon, on which Salander's fingerprints are found. That makes her the prime suspect for the police and the media, and a manhunt is launched for her. Blomkvist, on the other hand, believes in Salander's innocence and starts his own investigation...
I enjoyed The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book in the Millenium trilogy. Again, it has a captivating story and it was a page turner for me. I liked the stronger focus on the character of Lisbeth Salander, the most interesting character in the trilogy, and that more about her background is revealed. The end of the book was a bit disappointing, not because it was bad, but because it ends with a cliffhanger and leaves many questions unanswered, which I hope will be answered in the last book of the trilogy.
Quotes from the book
She liked having company that left her alone.
"What do you want?" - "There are many answers to that question." [...] "Try one." - "Well, I just wanted to see whether you're still single and might want some company tonight."
Salander saw nothing erotic about the outfit, but she had been drunk enough to suddenly want to pick up a girl dressed like a lemon.
"There is nothing anywhere in her records to indicate that she could hold down a white-collar job." - "Files are one thing. People are something else."
"According to the paperwork she is a progressively disabled near-psychopath. According to the two men who have worked with her, she's a skilled researcher."
"How much of a motive does a psychotic nutcase need?"
"She looks fairly unusual and has tattoos and really ought not to be that hard to find." - "The police in Uppsala went in with their weapons drawn yesterday after a tip-off. They surrounded and scared the hell out of a fourteen-year-old boy who did look a lot like Salander. The parents were quite upset." - "It's a handicap that we're searching for someone who looks like a fourteen-year-old. She could melt into any crowd of teenagers."
"There'll be hell to pay if I get caught in possession of an illegal weapon." - "Better that than me having to write your obituary, Mikael..."
No, he did not feel a grain of remorse. Prostitution was an honourable profession and he considered he was doing the girls a favour by being one of their clients.
Despite her years of striving for anonymity she had been overnight transformed into one of the most notorious and talked-about individuals in Sweden.
When all the assertions made in the various media were put together, the police appeared to be hunting for a psychotic lesbian who had joined a cult of sadomasochistic Satanists that propagandized for S&M sex and hated society in general and men in particular [...].
Lundin dropped gasping to his knees and stayed there at a more comfortable height for Salander. She kicked him in the face, deliberately, as if she were taking a penalty in football.
"You have no idea how cooperative people can be when Ronald asks for something. And especially when he starts up a chain saw and saws off one of your feet."