Monday, December 8

Literary Libations: The Girl Who Played With Fire

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This weekend I simply drank wine, nothing spectacular, so instead I thought I'd share a flaming drink from someone else's website (since we're reading The Girl Who Played With Fire I thought it would be appropriate). This drink looks delicious and, of course, I'm always fascinated by drinks that light on fire so be sure to check out this drink by Be careful not to actually drink the fire, though, unless you want to end up in the hospital.

The Girl Who Played With Fire By Stieg Larsson quickly pulls you into a round of chaos that seems inescapable. The second book in Larsson's Millennium Trilogy is much faster paced than the first and between literal whirlwinds (Lisbeth gets caught in a Caribbean hurricane), being framed for murder, and bursting open one nation's most well hidden secrets the story never lets you slow down.

The story was so intriguing that I almost forgot about some of the plot holes until afterward, when I was thinking back on it. Plot holes may actually be the wrong way of phrasing it. I'm still reading the third book and it is possible it will eventually come back around and answer some of my questions, but so far I have few questions that have yet to be answered. At the very beginning of the The Girl Who Played With Fire there is a girl who seems to be kidnapped and trapped by a pedophile. The book never actually explains who this girl is, it never returns to the scene, and it never seems to become relevant. I found this somewhat mystifying. After this scene we meet up with Lisbeth in the Caribbean. During this time she has very odd neighbors who she tries research and spies on. Eventually the island experiences a hurricane. Lisbeth runs outside to rescue a friend and, during this time, sees the neighbor couple apparently having a struggle on the beach. It becomes apparent that the man is attempting to kill his wife, but Lisbeth intervenes and saves the wife while simultaneously leaving the husband, now injured, outside to die. This seems like an important development and as if it should come up again later, especially since Lisbeth has gone to the trouble to research their backgrounds. It never does come up again, though, and as the story progresses I found I forgot about this particular event.

After Lisbeth returns to Sweden, things get interesting. Upon returning she gives her apartment to Miriam Wu, Lisbeth's on-and-off-again girlfriend, with the rent paid for a full year in advance and Lisbeth herself moves into a very expensive house that she purchases under Wasp Enterprises rather than her real name. Wu's only requirement is to handle Lisbeth's mail. This is why, when Lisbeth is framed for three murders, no one can find her. Lisbeth has told no one her new address, not even Wu. The murders were of Dag & Mia, who are connected to Millennium Magazine, Blomkvist's magazine, and Nils Bjurman, Lisbeth's guardian. The weapon has Lisbeth's fingerprints and the case appears open and closed, except that no one can determine a motive and the main suspect is nowhere to be found. Blomkvist also poses a problem as he is determined that Lisbeth is innocent and that he will somehow prove it.

As the story moves forward we learn more about Lisbeth's past and eventually the puzzle pieces begin to fit together. We learn that Lisbeth's father is largely absent, but that when he does show up he beats her mother. When Lisbeth was 12 years old her father, Zala, beat her mother, Agneta, to the point of brain damage. As he gets in his car to drive away Lisbeth throws a Molotov cocktail into the car and Zala is permanently disabled. Lisbeth has lived with the consequences for the rest of her life. What she didn't realize at age 12 was that Zala was defected soviet spy who sought refuge in Sweden in exchange for Soviet secrets. He is a national secret that must be protected at all costs, so Lisbeth was declared incompetent and was shipped off to a mental institution to keep her from telling anyone about her father.

Was Zala somehow responsible for the three murders, despite the fact that he is disabled and practically homebound? Who framed Lisbeth and why? Will Blomkvist be able to prove that Lisbeth is innocent? To answer these big questions I'm going to make you read the book. The characters are fleshed out so that you feel intimately acquainted with them, the sense of danger is palpable, and the mystery is intriguing. Well worth the read, once I picked up The Girl Who Played With Fire I couldn't set it down.

Have you read The Girl Who Played With Fire or do you plan to? If you've read it what was your favorite detail or scene?

Published: December 8, 2014


  1. [ Smiles ] I would say that the book is worth reading!

  2. The book sound amazing to read you gave a great detail post.

  3. Yay! I am glad you enjoyed the book too! I seriously love this better than the first!

    Reflection of Sanity | Smashbox Giveaway

  4. wow! i can tell this book is a page turner! it keeps you wondering and in suspense. who did it? hahaha pedophiles, abuse and violence!

  5. Great post
    Would you like to follow each other ?
    I'll follow back after it

  6. This books seems interesting Thank you for your opinion!!

  7. I have never read this book but from your review I would like too! I have never tried a drink on fire either as I think I am a little scared! LOL!


  8. Great post and thanks for sharing.

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  9. I watched the movie and loved it!! I hope they make the other two films too because I'm too lazy to read the books xx
    June Wants It All

    1. All three books were turned into movies in Sweden! They have them with English subtitles on Netflix. :)