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Mikael Blomvkist and Lisbeth Salander return in the follow up to Stieg Larsson’s intense and riveting 2007 “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” has a much different feel than the first novel, it’s much more hectic and far less isolated, but Larsson once again excels at creating a plot that leaves you breathlessly turning the page. The story is intricate and far-reaching – Larsson scatters clues likes crumbs, moving the plot forwards and backwards – I could feel all the pieces swirling about in my brain, but I just couldn’t connect the dots. The biggest strength of both books is Lisbeth Salander, one of the most memorable characters I’ve read in a while. She’s extremely complicated, damaged, and difficult, but she is, as one character put it, “unquestionably moral.” Kudos to Larsson for giving us a remarkable female character that doesn’t rely on cliches and sterotypes.

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