Review of The Girl Who kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson

You can never predict which writers will survive, but tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of readers believe that Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series places him in that small group of thriller writers whose books future generations will enjoy long after many “serious” producers of literary fiction have been forgotten. An unsympathetic critic might look at The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, the final volume of the 2,100-page trilogy, and wonder why. Unlike Raymond Chandler or John le Carré, Larsson cannot take you to another place with a few strokes of the pen. The novel opens with Lisbeth Salander lying in a remote homestead with a bullet in her head. She has just taken an axe to her father, Alexander Zalachenko, a KGB defector whose sex trafficking business is protected by a corrupt sect in the Swedish intelligence service. She was provoked: Zalachenko had tried to bury her alive. Somewhere in the woods, the hero, Mikael Blomkvist, has confronted Zalachenko’s hit man, a giant with a taste for snapping necks. Yet Larsson cannot conjure up a menacing atmosphere in a remote Scandinavian forest and does not try. The action takes places in a “white farmhouse somewhere near Nossebro”, he says, and leaves it at that.
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One thought on “Review of The Girl Who kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson

  1. About seventeen years ago I heard someone say that Dickens takes “half a page to describe something like a fireplace…”
    Repeatedly in a big book that sort of thing can be lethal. When it comes to a thriller, one of the last things anyone wants is the writer stopping to tie his shoelaces, or, disorientated, going down a purple passage. Stieg Larsson seems like the man who didn’t do either.
    I’ll be buying the first two of the trilogy soon.
    (£3.99 each!).

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