The Girl In The Spiders Web

The Girl In The Spiders Web by David Lagercrantz.

 

Having read and enjoyed the Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, I had to give this book a go. I felt that it very nicely picked the story up where the early books in the series left off. The story started slowly, but had hooked me in so thoroughly by half way through that I had some unplanned late nights finishing it! I thought that the story really got moving after Lisbeth Salander became more involved. She is one of the most unforgettable and original characters of modern fiction – brilliant, brave, deeply flawed by her past, and living entirely by her own moral code.

The Girl In The Spiders Web is the first in the series not to have been written by Stieg Larsson (who died of a heart attack in 2014), and it has been supported by his brother and father while criticized by his partner Eva Gabrielsson.

In this book Mikael Blomkvist is struggling to write and his magazine business is having troubles. Blomkvist gets a call from a computer scientist whom he suspects has had dealings with Lisbeth Salander, and on impulse responds to the invitation to visit the scientist and write his story while hoping to see Lisbeth again. The scientist is killed before Blomkvist reaches him, and he and Lisbeth seperately begin the task of protecting the scientist’s severely autistic but gifted young son from the murderers. The plot has unexpected twists and turns, and gives more detail on Lisbeth’s past and her childhood. I liked this book even more than the earlier ones as it has less of a dark, violent side and more action and adventure. Some of the earlier works by Steig Larsson were very graphic in the violent parts of the plot – this novel has violence, and even torture, but bit does not dwell on the dark side as the earlier books did. The setting for this book includes America and the NSA in the plot while easily retaining the flavour of the Swedish earlier novels. The characters in Lagercrantz’s book have stayed faithful to the originals, and I experienced no feelings of having to get to know them again.

For legal reasons Lagercrantz had no access to the notes and drafts of the novel that Larsson was writing at the time of his death, but I would argue that this book is better for being conceived and completed on its own as an original work of one author.