It would really have been unfair to rate this anything less than 5 stars. The first book in the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
, had a very good and ambitious story. The second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire
, had very thrilling moments and interesting characters, but the story seemed shallow and had some irrelevant subplots and an unclear ending. This book, had both a very good story and an absolutely thrilling plot, which literally made it impossible to put down. I honestly don’t remember the last time I read 250+ pages in a single day. It is a great book about (to name a few) conspiracy, prejudice, homophobia, abuse of power and above all injustice towards women.
Everyone who reached this far in the trilogy should know Larsson’s obvious flaws as a writer. The man is adamant to write almost everything about his characters, and persistently emphasizing what he likes most about them. He will tell every detail about things ranging from a comparison between the espresso machines that two of his characters are using, to their sexual preferences and practices with every detail. After three books from the man, I honestly got used to him and sometimes found myself chuckling, such as when he went on explaining forever the procedure by which Erika Berger should use her home alarm systems.
Apart from the long prose, and some slightly unbelievable and clichéd plot elements - with the two latters being minimal when compared with the other two books - Larsson didn't fail to capture my attention with his blend of interesting and unrelenting characters, and surprisingly diverse and captivating story. I think Larsson’s purpose by writing this trilogy was realized in this book more than the first and much more than the second.
Yet, I should mention that sometimes he is a bit pushy regarding certain things that he deems important. For example, you can't help but realize that he is too anxious to show us that Beckman doesn't care that Mikael is sleeping with his wife as long as she loved him, or that Salander wasn’t interested about who people chose to have sex with. I felt myself much more indifferent than him about these things. But I have forgiven him on the ground that Larsson is trying to create unconventional characters, who sometimes have the minimal required character development, which in itself serves a great purpose. This is very noticeable when you realize that till the last page, Salander remained the same girl that we knew at the beginning of the first book, without being (as if suddenly stroke by a lightning), changed into a saint or anything like it. This is one of the things I admired most in these books.
So, if you’ve reached this far, I urge you to read this one as well. I considered shelving this for some time when I finished the second, and I can’t believe what I could have missed.