The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

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9780307739964: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—is under close supervision in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: when she’s well enough, she’ll stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will have to prove her innocence, and to identify the corrupt politicians who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse. And, on her own, she will plot her revenge—against the man who tried to kill her and the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Lisbeth Salander is ready to fight back.
From the Hardcover edition.

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Review:

A young girl lies in a hospital room, her tattooed body very close to death -- there is a bullet lodged in her brain. Several rooms away is the man who tried to kill her, his own body grievously wounded from axe blows inflicted by the girl he has tried to kill. She is Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker and investigator, and the man is her father, a murderous Russian gangster. If Salander recovers from her injuries, she is more than likely to be put on trial for three murders -- the authorities regard her as a dangerous individual. But she won't see the inside of a courtroom if her father manages to kill her first.

This is the high-tension opening premise of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s phenomenally successful trilogy of crime novels which the late author (a crusading journalist) delivered to his publisher just before his death. But does it match up to its two electrifying predecessors, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire? The success of Larsson’s remarkable sequence of books is, to some degree, unprecedented. Crime fiction in translation has, of course, made a mark before (notably with Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, published, in fact, by Larsson's British publisher, Christopher MacLehose). But even the success of that book gave no hint of the juggernauts that the Salander books would be (the late author's secondary hero is the journalist Blomqvist -- who bears more than a passing resemblance to Stieg Larsson himself).

There are two overriding reasons for the hold that this massive trilogy has attained on the public: machine-tooled plotting which juggles the various narrative elements with a master's touch and (above all) the vividly realised character of Lisbeth Salander herself. She is something of a unique creation in the field of crime and thriller fiction: emotionally damaged, vulnerable and sociopathic (all of this concealed behind a forbidding Goth appearance), but she is also the ultimate survivor, somehow managing to stay alive despite the machinations of some deeply unpleasant villains (and the new book has a slew of those) as well as the hostility of often stupid establishment figures, who want her out of the picture quite as passionately as the bad guys. She is, of course, aided by the protective journalist Blomqvist, despite the fact that she had dumped him as a lover. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest brings together all the elements that have made the previous books of the sequence so successful. Its relentless pace may be a bit exhausting for some readers, but most will be happy to strap themselves in for the ride. It's just a shame that this will be the final book in the sequence (though conspiracy theorists are hinting that Larsson began another manuscript before his untimely death...) --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"A thoroughly gripping read . . . Lisbeth Salander, Stieg Larsson's fierce pixie of a heroine, is one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while--a gamin, Audrey Hepburn look-alike but with tattoos and piercings, the take-no-prisoners attitude of Lara Croft and the cool, unsentimental intellect of Mr. Spock . . . Owes less to the "Silence of the Lambs" horror genre than to something by John le Carre."
--Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times"
"The literary equivalent of a caffeine rush . . . Larsson was one of those rare writers who could keep you up until 3 a.m. and then make you want to rush home the next night to do it again . . . Larsson is something like John Grisham [but] Larsson held an extra ace: the creation of Salander."
--"Newsweek"
"
""It's over! And I feel the same sense of pleasure and loss that I did when I watched the finale of 'The Sopranos' and the last episodes of 'Battlestar Galactica' . . . Salander is, I promise, som

"One of crime fiction's most unforgettable characters." --"People"
" "
"A caffeine rush. . . . Larsson was one of those rare writers who could keep you up until 3 a.m. and then make you want to rush home the next night to do it again." --"Newsweek "
"Gripping. . . . Lisbeth Salander . . . is one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while." --"The New York Times"
"Anyone who enjoys grounding their imaginations in hundreds . . . of exciting pages about the way we live now ought to take advantage of this trilogy." --"Chicago Tribune"
"Exhilarating. . . . Larsson's was an undeniably powerful voice in crime fiction that will be sorely missed." --"Publishers Weekly"
"The pages fly. . . . The pulse quickens." --"The Boston Globe"
"A wild, careening ride." --"The Philadelphia Inquirer"
" "
"The action is wham-bam from the start. . . . [with] an eye-popping surprise ending." --"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"Fully lives up to the excellence of the previous two and . . . brings the saga to a satisfactory conclusion. . . . A modern masterpiece." --"The Washington Post Book World"
"[Lisbeth Salander] bursts off the page, a vibrant, forcefully 'real' character." --"The Plain Dealer"
"Enough twists to keep even the most astute reader guessing." --"The Denver Post"
" "
"""Complex, satisfying, clever, moral . . . This is a grown-up novel for grown-up readers, who want something more than a quick fix and a car chase." --"The Guardian" (London)
"An old-fashioned, well-paced political thriller with its roots in Swedish history and a cast of interesting and colorful characters."--"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
"Reading Stieg Larsson produces a kind of rushr--rather like a strong cup of coffee." --"The New York Times Book Review"
"Salander herself is a magnificent creation: a feminist avenging angel." --"Irish Independent"
"Relentlessly exciting. . . . Ai

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