The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy. As the transitional book between the first and third, it is not quite up to the level of the first book; however, it is still exciting. The first time I read it, I was riveted, but on my reread, I noticed a few occasions where the writing was more journalistic than desirable. Nevertheless, it is still a real thriller and absolutely essential to read if you are going to finish the trilogy.
Lisbeth Salander’s visit to her evil guardian upon her return from her travels abroad creates a conspiracy against her. Her guardian is tired of toeing the line and decides to have her killed.
Mikael Blomqvist is soon investigating a crime, too. He has been working with a freelance journalist, Dag Svensson, to publish a piece on sex trafficking. When he stops by one evening, he finds Svensson and his girlfriend, Mia Johansson, recently shot dead.
As the investigation proceeds, Salander’s guardian is also murdered, and the police discover links to the murders of Svensson and Johansson. Lisbeth Salander finds she is being framed for all the murders, despite her never having met Svensson or Johansson.
Blomqvist is convinced that Salander is innocent. With Salander hiding out and following the leads from her side, Blomqvist tries to figure out who Svensson may have been investigating that resulted in his murder.