Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review of The Girl In The Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

When Steig Larsson's books came out several years ago, I read them quickly and compulsively - the combination of mystery-thriller, wildly alive characters, and falling headfirst into Swedish winters was fantastic.  If you liked those books, I think you'll find this one nice, but a bit light.

Basic plot: (from inside cover - though this is not really how I would have described it...maybe that is to protect spoilers?) She is the girl with the dragon tattoo - a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit.  He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.  Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States.  The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker - a hacker resembling someone Blomqvist knows all too well.  The implications are staggering.  Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help.  She, as usual, has her own agenda.  The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it...

On a scale from 1 to Cripplingly Depressing: Interesting, with a spritz of grim in a few places.

Memories from reading: This was a bedtime read as I tried to get back into a routine after vacation.

Teeth-gnashing: I loved being back in the world of Millennium and Sweden, but my time reading was tinged with a feeling that something wasn't quite right.  For me, the critical characters (Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander) felt off.  Especially Lisbeth.  As I read and wondered why, it struck me how unique Stieg Larsson was in his ability to create a strong female character that wasn't necessarily likable or outwardly loving.  She felt a bit too soft for me in this book, like ice cream that was melting, and parts felt a bit cringe-y.  While most of the book was engaging, there were moments when I thought: "Haven't I read this before? Didn't this already happen in another book?"

Weapon of Choice: Hardcover from the library.

Other titles by this author: 
Lagercrantz: Fall of Man in Wilmslow, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Larsson: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

Have you read The Girl In the Spider's Web or any of Larsson's books? What did you think?

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