Salander goes globe trotting after the Wennerstrom affair. She has stopped talking to Blomkvist. She spends time immersed in learning the mysteries of Mathematics. On her return to Sweden, she buys a new apartment. She rents out the apartment to a friend. While Salander is busy, Blomkvist is busy with the latest sensational article that is going to published in May edition of Millennium. The article deals with sex trafficking and it is written by Svensson and his girlfriend.
Bjurman, Salander’s guardian, is filled with hatred towards Salander. He wants to take revenge on Salander for the misery she has inflicted on him. He starts digging information about her and comes across an episode titled “All that Evil” from Palmgren’s journals. On seeing this, Bjurman recognizes an opportunity.
Very soon, Salander is a fugitive charged with multiple murders. All the psychiatric evaluations mdo not work in her favor. What is “All that Evil” and how Salander is involved in the murders is told in the rest of the story.
This is Stieg Larsson’s second book in the Millennium Trilogy and comes after the first offering The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the trilogy. The books begins around an year after the Wennerstrom affair detailed in the finishing pages of the first book and covers a span of 4 months. Like the predecessor, the main theme of the book is abuse of women. It also questions the ethics in journalism which results in sensationalizing news based on incorrect findings.
Stieg takes a long time to set the stage. The mystery or the murder takes place around the middle of the book. This considerably slows down the pace making the reader wonder where all these is leading to. This book also do not have an epilogue which makes the book end abruptly. There are no red herrings on the motive of the killer. So, we are also surprised when the truth is gradually revealed. Salander is abused by men all through her life. But it is also some men in her life who relentlessly pursue the truth. This is the irony in the story.
If you can’t digest violence, please keep away from the book. Else, it is a fast read.
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