Stieg Larrson – The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest


This is the third and final book of the Millennium trilogy, and I’m almost annoyed that there will be no more novels of Lisbeth Salander or Mikael Blomkvist on my reading list again.

The final book in the trilogy opens with Lisbeth being shot several times in the head, after she attempted to kill her father, Zalachenko, who will be pressing charges. Zalachenko, a KGB defector, has been protected by a secret governmental organisation ever since he entered Sweden. Truths have been concealed, reports fabricated and a web of lies spun over the years, by various people in positions of power, and they are now threatened as to what might be unveiled thanks to the latest developments. Their masterplan is to get Salander committed to an asylum permanently. At the same time, Blomkvist, the irrepressible journalist at Millennium, is trying to figure out what’s being covered, by whom and why. It’s the classic battle between the good guys and the bad guys, with some necessary sacrifices being made by the “bad guys” – some people being used as pawns, and some being eliminated altogether; and both sides trying to outdo the other.

Most of the action in the book happens in the police/government offices, the hospital where Lisbeth is slowly recuperating, and the newspaper offices. The themes so far prominent in Larrson’s books continue: politics and corruption in Sweden, the subjugation of women, the importance of good investigative journalism, and the Big Brother world we live in, where constant surveillance and hacking can get most answers.

A couple of other stories intertwine in the finale as well, making this book a monster of 750 pages (approximately). Some of the details seem unnecessary, and I did spend the first two hundred odd pages just trying to get to grips with the myriad of characters that kept getting introduced. Once I got past that, I just lapped up the rest of the book in no time whatsoever.

This book seems like it would make a good TV series (I’m thinking Alias right about now) – at least one season of a TV series. It’s action-packed, things keep happening, and there are a number of cliffhangers. At the very outset, we know who some of the bad guys are, but as the book continues, the counter keeps incrementing. Plus, if one’s interested, it does give a view of Swedish politics and its history.

Salander and Blomknist remain the “white” characters in the “black and white” world that this book depicts. Annika, Blomkvist’s sister, plays a much bigger part, and she instantly became a favourite. With engaging characters (including the bad guys), and an incredibly well thought out story, I did enjoy this book. It’s interesting, but the charm of the book doesn’t lie in the ambience that’s created, but more in the way things turn around and the characters act.

It’s pop-fiction, but it’s gripping pop-fiction, so even if you’re turned off by seeing this trilogy on bestseller charts and ads everywhere, it’s still worth giving it a shot, I think. You might be pleasantly surprised – I was!

17 Responses to “Stieg Larrson – The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest”

  1. I am currently about 60 pages into this one and so far I can’t tell if I’ll like it as far as the second book in the series, which was my favorite. I am definitely trying to savor it since it’s the last book in the trilogy.

  2. I have yet to read this series. I am especially curious about the second book, which so many people say is even better than the first.

  3. 5 Mae

    It *was* somewhat bloated but I think everybody is quite forgiving given it’s the last book EVER by Stieg Larsson and the editors/publishers didn’t want to throw away any of Larsson’s words. I absolutely loved the climax and it was quite incredible how it all turned out. I mean, the plot is about a secret sector within a secret sector within the government. I feel quite deflated that Lisbeth won’t be kicking any more butts.

    • I know what you mean, about Lisbeth not kicking any more butts. She was a totally cool character… The book almost reminded me of Alias – if you’ve ever watched the TV series?

      • 7 Mae

        I LOVED Alias! It was one of my favourite shows and Syd Bristow was a great character. Glad to find another fan. :-)

  4. 8 Marie

    I can’t wait to read this. I read the first book and I think I need to take a week or two this summer and read the final two books. Can’t wait!!

  5. I can’t decide whether to read this book before I go to Sweden or to read it while I am there! I think we might check out parts of Stockholm to see some of the places mentioned in the book.

    I am glad you enjoyed the book, it would be a shame for the series to (prematurely) end on a low note.

    • I’d go with *while* – then you can imagine all the staking out and surveillance, in all its glory. Maybe you’ll run into a real world Blomkvist…. :)

  6. 12 John Smith

    I’ve heard some people suggesting the third part of the Larsson trilogy is not as good as the earlier ones. There are doubts, but which book can give me insurance it won’t disappoint me. The reputation of the author (his death has increased my curiosity) is huge, so may be the book would be worth the money. By the way, has anybody bought the book from I have heard they are offering the highest discount among the bookstores. Let me know if it is correct.

    • Think it’s better than the first one, but not the second. If you’ve read the first two, guess you should read this one as well.

      Not heard of uread – sorry!

  7. 14 Claire

    *moderate spoiler alert* I was just sad Lisbeth was unconscious for so much of this book! That was my biggest problem with it. (PS. thanks for coming to my blog!)

  1. 1 Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest « ReviewsbyLola's Blog
  2. 2 Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest « Fyrefly's Book Blog

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